Read this section on your own and
discuss in groups and answer the questions.
Awards, Achievements and Legacy
“Her loyalties to the passengers of the aircraft
in distress will forever be a lasting tribute to the fi nest qualities of the human
spirit.”— Ashok Chakra citation
Neerja’s act of bravery was acknowledged and rewarded
by the Indian, Pakistan and American governments. She was awarded the Ashok Chakra,
India’s highest honour for bravery in peacetime and she became the youngest civilian to receive it. A postage stamp was also
issued in her honour in 2004.
In 2005, her brother went to Washington DC to receive
the ‘Justice for Crimes Award’ awarded posthumously
to her as part of the ‘Annual Crime Rights Week’. She also received the Tamgha-e-Insaniyat
Her parents set up the Neerja Bhanot Pan Am Trust
with insurance money and funds from Pan Am for using the brand Pan Am in the title.
The trust presents two awards every year, one to honour a flight crew member, worldwide, who acts beyond the call
of duty and another to an Indian woman who overcomes social injustice and helps other women in similar social
distress. The award includes a sum of INR 1,50,000, a trophy and a citation.
One of the children who this brave flight purser
saved during a hijacking incident in 1986 is now a captain of a major airline.
Some people shine even after death and she was among
them. Even the streets of Mumbai couldn’t forget her. A square in Mumbai’s Ghatkopar
(East) suburb was named after her by the Mumbai Municipal Corporation.
Why was Neerja awarded the Ashok Chakra?
Answer: Neerja was awarded
the Ashok Chakra for bravery in peacetime.
2. How was Neerja honoured by various governments?
Answer: Neerja act of bravery
was acknowledged and rewarded by the Indian, Pakistan and American governments.
She was awarded the Ashoka Chakra. A postage stamp was also issued in her
honour in 2004. She received 'Justice for Crimes Award' and 'Tamgha-e-Insaniyat
3. What are the selection criteria for the Neerja
Bhanot Pan Am Award?
Answer: The trust presents
two awards every year - one to honour a flight crew member. The other to an
Indian Woman who overcomes social injustice.
civilian - a person not in the armed services or police force
after the death of the person
crew - a group of people who work on a ship, aircraft or train
injustice - lack of justice, unfairness
The "black box" is made
up of two separate pieces of equipment: the flight data recorder (FDR) and a cockpit
voice recorder (CVR). They are compulsory on any commercial flight or corporate
jet, and are usually kept in the tail of an aircraft, where they are more likely
to survive a crash. FDRs record things like airspeed, altitude, vertical acceleration
and fuel flow. Early versions used wire string to encode the data; these days they
use solid-state memory boards. Solid-state recorders in large aircraft can track
more than 700 parameters.
1. According to Neerja’s father, Neerja had well
defi ned principles and there was little room for compromise in that area. Do you
have any principles where you don’t want to compromise?
Answer: I have certain
principles in my life. I am always committed to my duty. I do exactly what
makes me love myself. I always move myself in the right direction. I will never
compromise with anyone in these areas.
2. Virinda told the Indian Express that Neerja was
a loyal friend. Are you always loyal to your friend?
Answer: Yes, I am always
loyal to my best friends Latha and Revathi.
3. Neerja would speak her mind, tell them the truth,
according to one of her classmate Eliza. Do you always have the courage to stand
Answer: Yes, I do have the
courage to stand for truth. But on some occasions, I had to keep quiet for the
benefit of my dear ones.