Kolkata Girl To Become First Woman Firefighter To Join Services At Airports

| April 22 , 2018 , 09:13 IST

In another advancement for girls in India, the Airports Authority of India (AAI), which was previously considered to be the last all-male bastion of Indian aviation, is now appointing its first ever woman fire-fighter, Kolkata girl Taniya Sanyal.

Sanyal, in a month, will be joining the ranks of the 3,310 firefighters the AAI has at its airports after completing training she is undergoing in the city, Times of India reported on Sunday.

Since having fire service is a mandatory condition for planes to land anywhere, and there is a considerable increase in the number of airports coming up, the AAI adjusted its recruitment norms for women firefighters.

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“We were facing a shortage of firefighters due to expansion and new airports coming up. We brought in contemporary rules and decided to recruit women in this field which required criteria for physical standards," AAI chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra said to TOI.

"I had done similar rule changes in Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation for firefighters. We got hold of them and then set the standards for recruiting women firefighters. This is the first time a woman has joined our ranks in this field and it will continue now,” Mohapatra added.

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For male firefighters, the physical standards require a minimum height of 1.6 metres and minimum weight of 50 kg. For women firefighters, the minimum weight was reduced to 40 kg and height norms were also reduced, however, the work description for the males and females have been kept exactly the same.

Saniyal has been recruited for AAI’s eastern region airports including Kolkata, Patna, Bhubaneswar, Raipur, Gaya and Ranchi and will join one of these airports after she completes her training at Kolkata firefighting centre.

“It is a matter of pride and great honour for me. I always wanted to do something challenging. Firefighting is a very noble calling,” Saniyal said to TOI, adding that “everyone supported me” in taking up the unconventional job.

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