The Kar-Girl; Gunjan Saxena

Gunjan Saxena has made history during her career in the Indian Armed Forces. She is the first women combat aviators who entered the war zone of Kargil with her fellow lieutenant Shrivadya Rajan and thus is known as The Kargil Girl.

Gunjan entering her helicopter.

The Takeoff!

Her career began in 1994, when she joined Indian Armed Forces, her batch had 25 other women trainee piolets. In the year 1999 when the Kargil war broke out between India and Pakistan, the Indian army was looking for more piolets to perform necessary duties. The Indian army was working on two major operations Operation Vijay and Operation Safed Sagar. Gunjan was part of Operation Vijay.

To live with fear and not be afraid of is the final test of maturity.

Edward Weeks

During the Kargil war, the Indian army was in a lot of stress and had to win against Pakistan. So an extreme decision was taken which changed the entire history of Indian army. To perform duties, women piolets were called. Women were not allowed at that time to get into the war zone as these duties were requiring a person to go through mental and physical stress.

In June 1999, Gunjan was called to perform duties. She was representing an Indian air force flight officer. She flew her helicopter into the steep and challenging valleys of Kargil where she also had to dodge the attacks of Pakistan, she located and rescued the wounded soldiers. Gun evacuated casualties and had to carry out an areal observation, and at the same time, she had to save herself from the attacks of the Pakistani soldiers.

She mentioned in one of her interviews that picking up the dead and the wounded soldiers from the steep mountains of Kargil required an excessive skill. “I am proud of my duty ans service,” said she. This mission had motivated her the most as she saved the lives of the soldiers who were wounded while serving the country. This mission was a success and the Indian army had won the war.


Gunjan Saxena received the Shaurya Chakra Award for her determination and courage that she carried through completing the mission. She was one of the first women who received this award.
Gunjan’s story is remarkable and very inspiring. She proved that women should not limit themselves to a specific set of skills. If you have passion, determination, and will you can achieve almost anything.