Coluvanda Punya Nanjappa set to become first woman fighter pilot from Kodagu to be inducted into IAF

Kodagu Connect News Service

MADIKERI: In a few months from now, Coluvanda Punya Nanjappa will become the first woman fighter pilot from Kodagu to be inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF). Presently training at the Indian Air Force Academy in Hyderabad, Punya is the only woman in her batch to have opted and been selected into the Fighter Stream.

Punya is the daughter of Anuradha Nanjappa and late Coluvanda P Bala Nanjappa of Vijayanagar in Mysuru. The family belongs to Chembebellur village in Virajpet taluk.

While she credits her parents for her achievements, Punya considers Group Captain Sarvanand as her mentor.

What motivated her to join the air force? Punya says the air-show she witnessed during Mysuru Dasara when she was in Grade 9 was among the many defining moments for her.

Punya worked extra hard juggling studies and extra-curricular activities to reach her goal. Being an all-rounder, she excelled both in sports and in academics. Punya won many laurels in badminton, basketball, throwball and handball events.

Former president A P J Abdul Kalam’s famous quote “Dream is not that which you see while sleeping, it is something that does not let you sleep” deeply influenced her, she says.

Punya did her BE in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from National Institute of Engineering in Mysuru. She cleared her AFCAT, SSB, medicals and the merit list with flying colours.

The training at the Air Force Academy is gruesome and women compete at par with the NDA boys.

Punya has many accolades to her credit. She stood second in Haward Camp, first in public speaking, first in book review and won a number of gold, silver and bronze medals.

Her advice to the youth is, “To never stop dreaming. Keep a goal in mind and pursue it, no matter what happens. Even if you don’t reach your desired goal don’t be intimidated, you will surely reach a point where you will be happy.”

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