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Fact Box: India’s first woman DGP Kanchan Chaudhary

The first woman Director General of Police (DGP) Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya passed away following illness in Mumbai, Maharashtra. She was 1973 batch IPS officer, who had scripted history when she was appointed DGP of Uttarakhand in 2004.

About Kanchan Chaudhary

She was born in Himachal Pradesh, Chaudhary. She was the country’s second woman IPS officer after Kiran Bedi.  She had led Uttarakhand Police force as DGP from 2004 to 2007. During her 33-year-long career, she had handled some sensitive cases, including killing of national badminton champion Syed Modi and Reliance-Bombay Dyeing case. She also had served as Inspector General of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).

In 1997, she was awarded President’s police medal for distinguished service. She had made guest appearance in ‘Udaan’ TV serial aired on Doordarshan in late 1980s, which was based on her life, showing her struggles to become an IPS officer. After retirement, she had joined Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and unsuccessfully contested 2014 Lok Sabha polls in Haridwar, Uttarakhand.

Udaan serial: It was one of the first shows on Indian television to deal with the subject of women empowerment. It was based on inspiring true life story of Kanchan Chaudhary and was aired on Doordarshan in late 80s. It was written and directed by Kanchan’s younger sister Kavita Chaudhary who also played lead protagonist.

IAF’s Shalija Dhami becomes India’s 1st female flight commander

Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Wing Commander Shalija Dhami scripted history by becoming country’s 1st female officer to be appointed as flight commander of a flying unit.  She took over as flight commander of a Chetak helicopter unit at Hindon airbase in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh.

A Flight Commander post is 2nd in command of flight commander unit which means that Dhami is 2nd in unit after commanding officer. Therefore, her elevation in flying branch is moving a step closer towards women officers commanding units and formations in service.

About Shalija Dhami

She was raised in Ludhiana, Punjab.

She is the 1st woman officer of IAF to be given a permanent commission for a long tenure. She is a permanent commissioning officer of Flying Branch in Indian Air Force (IAF) and flies helicopters.

She is also the 1st women qualified flying instructors of Indian Air Force for helicopters. In her career of 15 years, Wing Commander S Dhami has flown Chetak and Cheetah helicopters.

Her promotion to Flying Branch is a step towards Commanding Unit of Women Officers.

On 26 August 2019 women in Indian Armed Forces set another milestone with appointment of Wing Commander Shalija Dhami who became 1st female flight commander of operations unit of Indian Air Force.