Google has published a doodle to celebrate the birth anniversary of India’s first female pilot, Sarla Thukral. Today is the 107th anniversary of her birth, Sarla’s incredible accomplishment is reflected in this one-of-a-kind doodle. Vrinda Zaveri designed the illustrations.
Last year, the search engine conglomerate honored Sarla Thukral with the same adorable Doodle. We decided to run the Doodle this year in memory of Thukral’s 107th birthday because she defined such a real impression for women in aviation.
At the age of 21, Sarla Thukral soared to new heights by taking her first solo flight and becoming India’s first woman pilot 👩✈️
Today’s #GoogleDoodle honours this incredible pilot, designer, and entrepreneur, on her 107th birth anniversary.
— Google India (@GoogleIndia) August 8, 2021
Sarla Thukral was born on this day in 1914 in Delhi, British India, and eventually relocated to Lahore in present-day Pakistan. Her spouse, an airmail pilot from a family of fliers, was an admiration to her. She then began her preparation to follow in her ancestor’s footsteps. She took her first solo flight at the age of 21 in a compact double-winged plane, wearing a traditional sari. In the process of elevating the craft into the sky, she created history. Newspapers quickly spread the news that the skies were no longer solely the domain of men. Thukral, who married at the age of 16, was the mother of a 4-year-old child when she formed the legacy.
Thukral’s remarkable journey did not come to an end there. She completed 1,000 hours of flight time as a student of the Lahore Flying Club to earn an aviation license, another first for an Indian woman. She then started training to be a commercial pilot, but the outbreak of World War II interrupted civil aviation training. Thukral, on the other hand, studied fine art and painting at Lahore’s Mayo School of Arts (now the National College of Arts). After the partition, she eventually moved back to Delhi, where she continued to paint and created a thriving profession designing jewelry and apparel. She died on March 15, 2008, at the age of 93.
Sarla Thukral’s accomplishments “have paved the way for generations of Indian women to turn their dreams of flight into reality,” Google stated in a tweet featuring today’s doodle.