Neerja House


On the 5th of September 1986, 23 years old Shrimati Neerja daughter of Sri Harish Behnot was a member of the crew of Pan American Airways flight from Bombay to New York via Karachi a senior flight purser. A group of four heavily armed hijackers rush to the aircraft on the tarmac at Karachi Airport. Showing tremendous presence of mind and quick reflexes, it was her instant Shout of ‘Hijack’ which alerted the flight crew who immediately escaped. Thereby immobilising the aircraft. With the exit of the flight crew, she took command of the situation and kept the terrified passengers calm. She deftly managed the situation and trigger- happy hijackers from going Berserk. However, when suddenly the power went off in the aircraft and she helped a number of passengers to escape through the emergency door, she became a marked target of the hijackers. One of the desperate hijackers grabbed her from behind and shot her dead. She is the youngest and first woman recipient of the Ashok Chakra, India’s highest peacetime gallantry award. Her loyalties to the Passengers of the aircraft in distress Will Forever be a lasting tribute to the finest qualities of the human spirit. Shreemati Neerja displayed the most conspicuous Bravery in the face of Grave adversities and tried to save the lives of the passengers on the ill fated flight at the cost of her own life and to salute her courage, bravery and intelligence we put the name of our school house.

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