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Shyamli Haldar Breaks Glass Ceiling After Becoming The First Woman General Manager Of Air Traffic Control Ever. This Is Awesome!

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There is a certain kind of a positive kick that women like me get, every time we come across a piece of news, a new development or an achievement that a woman books under her name. Be it news about a woman half way around the world, making a remarkable name for herself, or about one from out very own country making us proud, just knowing and acknowledging that women in the world are moving forward and how, is a high in itself. One that we’ve recently gotten to experience after Shyamli Haldar took over as the general manager of air traffic control in Kolkata.

A position that up till now had only been reserved for and claimed by men, she is now being hailed for becoming the first woman to enter an otherwise exclusively male-dominated field. Recruited almost 30 years ago in what was the first batch of women air traffic controllers, Shyamli Haldar has done all of us women proud with her hardwork.

One of the nine controllers recruited back in the year 1989, Haldar worked against a lot of odds to shatter this glass ceiling. Before her, there were only three women who were recruited as a controller, but rather briefly. The first joined in 1973 but left soon after 2-3 years, the second was appointed in 1985 but left to join the Directorate General Of Civil Aviation, and the third unfortunately joined in 1987 and passed away.

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It was after Haldar completed her training at the Civil Aviation Training College in Allahabad, that she got her first posting in Kolkata in 1991. Along with her was the only other women controller, Aryama Sanyal who is now posted as the Indore airport director.

Now, Shyamli Haldar, a single mother has assumed  the position and we have full faith that she will do justice to the role and the duties that come with. Asit Sinha, Kolkata ATC joint GM thought back to the first day she saw Shyamli working and said, “A controller is required to be sincere and attentive. While all controllers have these skill-sets, we soon realised women can be more attentive. She was confident and bold”.

Shyamli told TOI, “Since the job does not require brawn, women get a level playing field. This coupled with the inherent pressures at home that girls experience in India, remaining calm and focused in pressure situation comes naturally to women. I was mentally strong and always gave my best. Strange as it may sound, I had imagined I would be here one day.”

She went on to say, “I’ve followed a simple practice. I don’t take my home to work and don’t bring work home. I try to give my best to the job at hand. I dare say both my daughter and my job have rewarded me for the sincerity.” We hope more women get inspired by the like of Shyamli, and go after their dreams like she did.

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