baawri:

Neerja
is the courageous story of a 23 year old girl, Neerja Bhanot – an air hostess – who
lost her life while saving 359 passengers from terrorists on board the
hijacked Pan Am Flight 73 on 5th September 1986. Neerja alerted the cockpit crew about the hijack,
but as the plane was on the tarmac, the three-member American cockpit
crew of pilot, co-pilot and the flight engineer fled from the aircraft. Neerja,
being the most senior cabin crew member on board, took charge. The
terrorists then instructed her to collect the passports of all the
passengers so that they could identify the Americans. But Neerja and the
other attendants under her charge hid the passports of the 41 Americans
on board. After 17 hours, the hijackers opened fire and set off
explosives. Neerja opened the emergency door and helped a number of
passengers escape. She could have been the first to jump out when she
opened the door, but she decided not to, and was shot while shielding
three children from a hail of bullets. She met a heroic death
two days before her 23rd birthday. Known to the world as the only woman
recipient of Ashok Chakra, India’s highest civilian award for bravery,
she was fondly referred to as ‘Lado’ in her family.

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