Google Doodle Celebrates India’s First Woman Pilot To Fly An Aircraft On Her 107th Birth Anniversary: Sarla Thakral
Sarla Thakral was the first Indian woman to fly an aircraft. At age 21, dressed in a traditional sari, she stepped into the cockpit of a small double-winged plane for her first solo flight. Lifting the craft into the sky, she made history in the process.
On Sunday Google praised a doodle on its homepage to Sarla Thukral. India’s first woman to pilot a flight, on the occasion of her 107 birth anniversary. Sarla Thakral’s soaring achievements have paved the way for generations of Indian women to turn their dreams of flight into reality, Google said in a statement.
“We planned to run this same doodle honoring Sarla Thakral in India last year. However, when the tragic plane crash occurred in Kerala, we withheld the doodle out of respect to the event and relief effort. Though we don’t usually run doodles more than once, Sarla Thakral left such a lasting legacy for women in aviation that we decided to run the doodle this year in honor of her 107th birthday,” the company said in a statement.
About Sarla Thakral:
Sarla Thakral was born on August 8, 1914, in Delhi, British India, and later moved to Lahore in present-day Pakistan. She was an Indian pilot, designer, and entrepreneur.
Inspired by her husband, who applauds from a family of fliers, Sarla Thakral started to train to follow in their footsteps. At age 21, dressed in a traditional sari, she stepped into the cockpit of a small double-winged plane for her first solo flight. Lifting the craft into the sky, she made history in the process. Newspapers soon spread the word that the skies were no longer the province for only men.
Sarla Thukral was a student of the Lahore Flying Club. She was the first Indian woman to complete 1,000 hours of flight time to gain her A license. When she started up preparations to become a commercial pilot during World War II put a stop.
Sarla Thakral then studied fine art and painting at Lahore’s Mayo School of Arts (now the National College of Arts). She later returned to Delhi where she started painting again and built a successful career designing jewelry and clothing.
Today’s high-flying doodle was portrayed by guest artist Vrinda Zaveri. In the decades since Sarla Thakral’s rising achievements “have paved the way for generations of Indian women to turn their dreams of flight into reality,” said Google today’s doodle.