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Follow Your Dream In Service Of Nation : First Woman Firefighter, AAI, India

“Firefighting is all about discipline, our Main mantra is ‘Tranaya Seva Mahe’ which means always ready to help people when they are in trouble. It’s the zeal that matters the most”, Says Junior Assistant (Fire Service), Tanya Sanyal. Meet the First woman Firefighter of  Airports Authority of India (AAI) who pays her sincere gratitude to the organisation for this golden opportunity.   

Since my childhood I wanted to do something big, though I did my Masters in Botany but had a thought of doing something unconventional and challenging.  My parents always encouraged me to listen to my inner voice. They were supportive throughout my journey. In Apr 2017, when I saw the advertisement in newspaper, I was sure what my dream job is going to be. I qualified the online MCQ test (consisting Mathematics, GK, Reasoning and English) in October 2017, followed by another round of tests including medical examination, LMV driving test and physical endurance test. By end December 2017, the final merit list was out. On 28 Jan 2018 at Fire Training Centre Delhi, I reported for my training only to realise later that I am the only lady in the course.

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Initially, I was a bit apprehensive but then decided to continue with full gritto carve my own niche. After successfulcompletion of my training on 09 June 2018, I made it to the history of being the first woman fire fighter to be appointed by AAI. From 2 July 2018 till date, I am working as a trainer at Fire Service Training Centre, AAI, Kolkata. Later I also acquired driving license of HMV. In two years of my contended service,I havehad numerous hazardous though life saving moments to prove my mettle and at the same time mature as a professional.

I always believed that the hidden meaning of the word ‘impossible’ is ‘I am possible’. I think if you want to do something great then you have to step out from your comfort zone. I did the same.

When you fight with the fire, literally & metaphorically,  you have to be cautious, practical, smart, tactful and physically & mentally fit. I think Airport Fire Service gives the right opportunity to have a meaningful career for the youth of the country,  where you can get a chance to rescue the people in need and save lives. 

One of the very recent examples is the tragedy at Kozhikode runway where Air India Express Flight on Vande Bharat Mission from Dubai on landing, fell into the valley and broke into two portions. It was 0740 p.m. and raining heavily. The prompt action of Airport fire Services team along with other services was extremely crucial. The rescue operation amidst the constant threat of plane catching fire is a big challenge. In such situations quick and timely response is the need of hour. The fire fighters at work didn’t bother about the risk of catching Covid-19 and own life and rushed to the site. They selflessly jumped into the valley to evacuate the passengers.  


A woman must stand up for herself, work hard and prove herself, as every woman is a fighter. Woman symbolises ‘Shakti’ in the words of Kolkata born Tanya. I aspire to learn more about airport safety policies and be part of the improvement in processes of Airports Authority Of India, which manages 137 Airports including 24 International and 103 Domestic Airports in India and is Miniratna- Category -1 Public Sector Enterprise .As I look back at the journey so far, the only thought that crosses me is “Miles to tread to extinguish the Fire within.”.

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  1. Tilottama Lahiri

    It’s really challenging for Tanya to choose a domain where no woman dared to enter so far in AAI.
    If women can become Fighter Pilot & shoulder many more challenging responsibilities, then why not as a Fire Fighter?
    Wish her all the best in this profession.

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