Zenitex Salutes, The Braveheart Neerja Bhanot, India’s youngest recipient of Ashoka Chakra (Posthumous), who, saved scores of lives on the ill-fated New York bound Pan Am Flight No. 73.
So has it happened that we have to follow films to get educated about our real life heroes or otherwise their heroics are buried under the sand dunes of time and stay there silently until some dynamic film maker or a script writer digs in to the history and pulls out a gem like NEERJA!
It is not only a film it is a part of our history, history of mankind not that far away. It shows what humanity stands for. It teaches us what it is to be a human being. How the heart beats at the time of terror and what it takes to be brave at heart. Ammunition, Muscle power, Technology nor Money Power works like a brave heart performs in times of catastrophes, in deciding moments where it will be death or life. She was not afraid to lose her job if she fled from there that stopped her on the plane. But, her duty, responsibility and her calling as an air purser, pursed her to the deck of the plane. She did her duty like a soldier, took up her responsibility like a mother and answered her calling like an angel.
For her bravery, the Government of India posthumously awarded her the Ashoka Chakra Award (India’s highest gallantry award for bravery in the face of the enemy during peace time), and Neerja Bhanot became its youngest recipient. In 2004 the Indian Postal Service released a stamp commemorating her. Pakistan government also awarded her ‘Tamgha-e-Insaaniyat’ (Awarded for showing incredible human kindness). She was also conferred upon by ‘Justice for Crimes Award’ by United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and Special Courage Award by Department of Justice of United States. In addition to these she also received Flight Safety Foundation Heroism Award, USA and Ministry of Civil Aviation Award, India.
Words and awards would not be enough to express the gratitude of the survivors and praises and accolades would not bring her back. That is the harsh reality of life. We believe that such inspirational facts when they are unveiled will give birth to many more Neerjas and will give more and more confidence to our youth to believe in themselves especially at the time of crisis and calamities, be it man made or natural. ‘Real Life Heroes’ is a rare species. We at Zenitex pay rich tributes to all our national heroes who have laid their lives for humanity and have made our Nation – Our India proud.
Like he is an ardent fan of the living legends namely Mr. Ratan Tata for his vision, Mr. Amitabh Bachchan for his dedication and Mr. Sachin Tendulkar for his passion, our CEO Mr. Viral Desai, is also an ardent fan of the Real Life Hero Neerja Bhanot for her love and courage which he says inspires him.
We would also like to appreciate the effort made by the production team of the film ‘Neerja’ the protagonist Sonam Kapoor who made us feel like we were watching the ordeal live and shivers went down our spines. The Producer Mr. Atul Kasbekar and The Director of the film Mr. Ram Madhvani too have done a wonderful job to recreate such a sensitive issue with a touch of class.
Finally we would like to end this blog by bowing our heads in silence for those who lost their lives during that terrorised day. And to our Hero Neerja!
Thanks & Regards – Team ZENITEX