Anchal Gangwal: The IAF Academy Topper


Anchal Gangwal topped the Indian Air Force (IAF) Academy, defying all odds that came her way. Gangwal had recently joined the Air Force as a Flying Officer and has been commissioned only a few days back. The 24-year-old comes from a humble background and hails from Madhya Pradesh. Her father works as a tea-seller at a bus stand in the Neemuch district.

Suresh Gangwal, her father shared that Anchal was inspired to join the Indian Air Force after she saw the IAF personnel helping people during the 2013 Kedarnath tragedy. However, it wasn’t an easy journey for the Flying Officer.  He shared how at times; they didn’t even have enough money to pay for her tuition fees.

He said, “One can understand my financial condition. At times, I faced problems in depositing her school or college fee. I had to borrow money from others on many occasions to deposit the fee. Sometimes I had to pretend to be out of town to delay fees deposition.”

However, he also added that his daughter was determined to join the forces. He recollected how her daughter began collecting information from bookstalls on how she could get into the Air Force after getting inspired by the bravery of IAF personnel. Consequently she started preparing in the direction and finally succeeded in her sixth attempt.


Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh also congratulated Anchal for her achievement. Chouhan tweeted, “Anchal, daughter of Suresh Gangwal, who runs a tea shop in Neemuch, will now fly the fighter plane in the Air Force. Daughter Anchal, who made Madhya Pradesh proud, will now fly in the heights of the infinite sky to protect the pride and honour of the country. Congratulations, blessings and best wishes to the daughter.”

Suresh Gangwal said, “It was not easy for Anchal and the family to make her realise this dream, but she was determined. She was a bright student and also a basketball player. She first wished to join the Air Force after seeing the IAF personnel helping people during the Kedarnath tragedy. And, now her dream has come true.”

He said that Anchal’s commissioning was indeed a proud moment for the family. However, the family could not make it to the Air Force Academy at Dundigal because of the current restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus outbreak.