Women will be the focus of the 75th Republic Day Parade on January 26 at Delhi’s Kartavya Path. For the first time, a troop of all women from the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and India Air Force (IAF) will march down the Kartavya Path during the parade.

Fifteen female IAF pilots will participate in an aerial flypast during the parade, which will be presided over by French President Emmanuel Macron as the Chief Guest.

The IAF tableau’s Flight Lieutenant Ananya Sharma and Flying Officer Asma Sheikh expressed their “proudness” at the women receiving “equal opportunity.”

The two Su-30 pilots told NDTV that this year’s IAF tableau would have the theme “Saksham, Sashakt, Atmanirbhar,” which stands for “Capable, Powerful, and Self-Reliant.”

Flight Lieutenant Ananya Sharma, whose father was an IAF MiG-21 fighter pilot, told NDTV that “the tableau’s rear portion would depict saksham’ (capable) and feature C-295 transport aircraft, which was part of the Operation Kaveri and was conducted to evacuate Indians from war-torn Sudan in 2023.”

“The middle portion of the tableau would depict ‘sashakt’ (powerful) and show our expanding reach,” she stated.

According to Flying Officer Asma Sheikh, the IAF contingent will include 55 Agniveer Vayu women in all, and the flypast would feature female fighter pilots as well.

“We are proud that the women are getting an equal opportunity,” she stated to NDTV.

At the Republic Day parade, the IAF’s marching contingent will be led by Squadron Leader Rashmi Thakur. Three female supernumerary officers, Flight Lieutenant Kirti Rohil, Squadron Leader Pratiti Ahluwalia, and Squadron Leader Sumita Yadav, would be positioned in front of her.

51 Indian Air Force aircraft, comprising 13 helicopters and 29 fighter jets, are anticipated to participate in the Republic Day fly-past.

Additionally, 100 female musicians will perform Indian musical instruments for the first time at the Republic Day Parade.