Being the eldest of three siblings, the 22-year-old Tahirah Rehman, always looked up to her father, Abdul Rehman , a retired Honorary Captain of the Army. She was interested in the Army for its ways its men and women serve the country.
Her family hails from Khorbani (Tehsil Khawas),145 kms from the district headquarters of the border district of Rajouri in Jammu division of J&K UT.
Tahirah Rehman, was completing her B. Tech in Electronics and Communication from IIIT, Jabalpur, and also preparing for the entrance examination for flying officer in the Indian Air Force (IAF). She wrote her exams in April.
Tahirah Rehman with her family
She has already joined the IAF Academy for training in Hyderabad. Thus, if all goes well, Tahirah will become the first woman flying officer from Gujjar community of J&K.
“Right from her childhood, she was interested in the Army, as she watched me working and it was her dream to join the Army,” said her father, Abdul Rehman, who retired this year.
He pointed that as Tahira was studying she had made up her mind to serve the country, like her father. It was a moment of joy and happiness for the family when they got the news of her selection as first rank flying officer in IAF.
“She was happy as it was a dream come true for her,” Captain Rehman recalled, feeling proud as his daughter has already joined the academy far away in Hyderabad to come out as a flying office.
Tahirah all set to achieve her dream
Lt Governor of J&K UT Manoj Sinha has congratulated Tahira for the achievement. In his tweet the LG said: “Congratulations to Tahirah Rehman, daughter of the soil from Rajouri, who has been selected for flying officer in IAF. It is a matter of great pride & joy. She is an inspiration for many young girls, especially for J&K. Best wishes for the future endeavour.”
Tahirah and her family’s journey has not been an easy one, as they came from a remote village infested with militancy during previous years.
Abdul Rehman recalls how Tahirah’s mother walked their little girl to and fro her school, about 5 km away every morning and afternoon. “It was difficult walking through rough terrain in the woods.”
Tahirah with her father Capt Abdul Rehman
Finally in 2005, the family shifted to Jammu.
Khorbani village lacks basic facilities like pani, bijli and Sarak, laments Abdul Rehman.
Had he not shifted to Jammu with his family while in the Army, it would not have been possible for his children to get a proper education and a direction to fulfill their dreams.
His village, Abdul Rehman adds, also lacks other facilities like schools and hospitals. Apart from road connectivity, the people of the area are deprived of the other basic facilities like power supply and potable drinking water.