Biography of Neerja Bhanot:

Neerja Bhanot, born on September 7, 1963, was a courageous Indian flight attendant who became a symbol of bravery and sacrifice. She tragically lost her life while saving passengers during the hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73 in 1986.
Early Life and Education - Modeling and Flight Attendant Career - Pan Am Flight 73 Hijacking - Legacy and Recognition to Neerja Bhanot

Early Life and Education:

Neerja Bhanot was born in Chandigarh, India, to Harish Bhanot and Rama Bhanot. She was raised in a well-educated and progressive family. Neerja attended Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School in Chandigarh and later pursued her higher education at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai.

Neerja Bhanot’s Modeling and Flight Attendant Career:

Neerja started her career as a model and was featured in various advertisements. Her charm, grace, and confidence led her to become a flight attendant for Pan American World Airways (Pan Am).

Pan Am Flight 73 Hijacking:

On September 5, 1986, Pan Am Flight 73, traveling from Mumbai to New York City, was hijacked by four armed terrorists at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, Pakistan. Neerja, as the senior flight purser, displayed extraordinary courage and presence of mind during the ordeal.

Heroic Actions and Sacrifice:

Despite facing grave danger, Neerja helped hide the passports of American passengers to protect them from the terrorists. She also conveyed critical information to the pilots and ensured the evacuation of passengers through emergency exits. During the hijacking, Neerja managed to open the emergency door, allowing passengers to escape, before being fatally shot by the terrorists while shielding three children from the gunfire. Her selfless actions saved the lives of many passengers.

Legacy and Recognition to Neerja Bhanot:

Neerja Bhanot’s bravery and sacrifice were widely recognized. She was posthumously awarded the Ashoka Chakra Award, India’s highest peacetime gallantry award, and became the youngest and first woman recipient of the honor. The Indian government also honored her with the Tamgha-e-Pakistan, a civilian award in Pakistan.

 Impact and Inspiration:

Neerja’s story inspired the Bollywood film “Neerja” (2016), directed by Ram Madhvani and starring Sonam Kapoor in the titular role. The movie portrayed her heroism and the events of the hijacking.

 Remembering Neerja:

Neerja Bhanot’s legacy continues to inspire people around the world. Her bravery, compassion, and sacrifice in the face of danger serve as a testament to the strength of the human spirit. She remains a symbol of courage and resilience, reminding us of the extraordinary impact one individual can make in the face of adversity.