Sonam Kapoor as Neerja

By Staff Feministaa in Celebrity Interviews 15/02/2016

The youngest recipient of the Ashok Chakra Award, Neerja Bhanot is a living legend. In the process of saving lives of three children escaping the flight, Neerja ended up giving up her life.


Feministaa got in touch with Neerja Bhanot’s brother, Mr. Aneesh Bhanot to capture real glimpses of the Hijack Heroine.


Neerja The Book


Aneesh Bhanot, spent two whole years collecting reminisces of his only sister and  published it as a book “Neerja”.


I wanted to show to the world Neerja, through the eyes of  the people who knew her very well.


The book has excerpts about Neerja from everyone who knew her. From her friends, colleagues to her mother.


She was bold and courageous in her own way. She stood strong on her morals till her last breath.


At a tender age of 22, Neerja was the only senior most crew left on the fateful Pan Am 73. The pilots had escaped the flight through an overhead hatch in the cockpit when Neerja had alerted them in code language about the hijack.


In-spite of having a chance to escape, Neerja chose to stay on the flight. For 17 torturous hours, the terrorists kept the passengers as hostages. the young flight attendant stayed on, supporting and giving reassurance to the passengers continuously.


She opened the emergency gates for the passengers to exit once the terrorists open fired. Unfortunately, while saving three children from bullet shots, she ended her life.


One will never know what Neerja was thinking or feeling during those strenuous hours of the hijacking. All that we know today is that she chose to respond to the actions of the terrorists with exceptional courage and grit. Of the 380 passengers and crew members on the Flight, 20 were killed.


 And the remaining 360, owe their lives to Neerja.


Staff Feministaa

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