Inspiring! Madhya Pradesh tea seller’s daughter set to join IAF. Here’s her remarkable story of overcoming odds

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New Delhi | Published: June 26, 2018 1:04:50 PM

Humble roots cannot decide an individual's destiny; determination, grit and hard work do. Aanchal Gangwal from Madhya Pradesh's Neemuch district comes across as the perfect example of this adage and her exemplary achievement is a rags-to-riches story that should inspire the younger generation.

iaf Aanchal said she was inspired by the rescue operation carried out by the Indian armed forces during the 2013 floods in Uttarakhand.

Humble roots cannot decide an individual’s destiny; determination, grit and hard work do. Aanchal Gangwal from Madhya Pradesh’s Neemuch district comes across as the perfect example of this adage and her exemplary achievement is a rags-to-riches story that should inspire the younger generation. The 24-year-old daughter of a tea-seller has been selected in the flying branch of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

What makes her achievement more special is that she was among the 22 selected from all over the country and the only one from Madhya Pradesh after successfully passing the Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT). Over 6 lakh candidates appeared in the exam with an aspiration to make it to the elite force. Aanchal has been asked to report at the Air Force Academy in Dundigul, Hyderabad, by June 30.

Inspired by Indian armed forces

Aanchal said she was inspired by the rescue operation carried out by the Indian armed forces during the 2013 floods in Uttarakhand. “When I was in class 12, there were floods in Uttarakhand and I was impressed with the way the armed forces rescued the flood affected and decided to join the forces, but the family condition was not conducive at that time,” Aanchal said.

She admitted that clearing the Air Force Common Admission Test was not an easy task for her. Over the years she faced the interview board five times and could only be successful in her sixth attempt, the results of which were declared on June 7.

A father’s fight

Microsoft Corp co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates once said, “If you are born poor it’s not your mistake, but if you die poor it’s your mistake.” It is highly unlikely that Aanchal’s father, Suresh Gangwal, who runs a tea stall at the Neemuch bus stand, came across the phrase. However, he encouraged his daughter to fulfil her dreams and never let his financial condition hinder the education of his three children. “Now everyone in the area knows about my ‘Namdev tea stall’ and I feel very happy when people come and congratulate me,” Suresh said. He had taken a loan to send Aanchal for coaching in Indore. Apart from this, he had also financed his elder son’s engineering. “My youngest daughter is in Class 12,” the proud father was quoted as saying by ANI.

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