Google dedicated a doodle on its homepage on the 107th birth anniversary of Sarla Thukral - the first Indian woman pilot to fly. Last year, Google planned to run the same doodle in India, honouring Sarla Thukral. However, due to the catastrophic plane crash in the southern state of Kerala, the doodle was withheld out of respect for the event and the relief effort.
The company, in a statement, said that though doodles aren't run more than once, Thukral left a lasting legacy for women in the aviation industry that they decided to run the doodle this year as a tribute to her 107th birthday.
Early Life Of Sarla Thukral
Born on August 8, 1914, in Delhi, at the time of the British Raj in India, Thukral moved to Lahore in Now Pakistan. She was an Indian pilot, entrepreneur and designer. In 1936 Sarla earned an aviation pilot license at the very young age of 21 and flew a Gypsy Moth solo. She had a 4-year old daughter.
Inspired by her husband, P.D Sharma, who came from a family of fliers, Thukral started to train to follow in their footsteps. Dressed in a traditional sari for her solo flight, at the age of 21, she stepped into the cockpit of a small double-winged plane. Lifting the aircraft into the sky, she created history in the process. Soon the newspapers broadcasted that the skies were no longer the only men's orbitary. Tragically, Captain Sharma died in a crash in 1939.
First Indian Woman To Complete 1,000 Hours Of Flight
Sarla was a student of the Lahore Flying Club. She became the first Indian woman to complete 1,000 hours of flight time to gain her 'A' licence. When she began preparations to become a commercial pilot, but World War II began, due to which civil training stood suspended.
Thukral attended Lahore's Mayo School of Arts, where she trained in the Bengal school of painting (now the National College of Arts), acquiring a diploma in fine arts. She later returned to Delhi with her two daughters, where she met R. P. Thakral and married him in 1948. She continued painting and successfully began designing jewellery and clothing. Sarla, also known as Mati, became a successful entrepreneur and died in 2008. Artist Vrinda Zaveri illustrated her high-flying doodle.