Reminiscing a Brave Heart
Post By Shailvi Singh on 27-December-2015
A model, a senior flight purser and a lifetime legend; an amalgamation of selflessness and valour; a beautiful smile that concealed colossal courage- Yes, Neerja Bahnot is the name!
Harking back to the era of 1986, the year when an ordinary flight attendant created history by her extraordinary bravery. Bahnot was a cabin manager for Pan Am. The ill-fated Pan Am Flight 73 was hijacked in Karachi on the 5th of September, 1986 by Libyan terrorists and that was when her gargantuan courage was unveiled! The pilots were the first to abscond on being informed of the hijack by her while she was the last to leave the plane. She hid the passports of 41 American passengers on the flight to save them from the hijackers. Neerja Bahnot rescued as many as 360 lives out of the 380 aboard and lost her life while shielding three children from a hail of bullets.
She was posthumously awarded with the Ashoka Chakra by the Government of India, which is the highest gallantry award in the nation and she became the youngest to receive the same. In 2004, the Indian Postal Service released a stamp commemorating her. She was also honoured by Pakistan with the Tamgha-e-Insaaniyat award.
This public-spirited act of hers will never cease to inspire humankind by setting forth an example of how sizable can benevolence get! This altruistic sacrifice is a proof that she was indeed, a Hero.
The unsung hero, Bahnot, the brave heart!