And what do you do when the choice you have to make is – to play with fire every day?
That’s the story of Harshini Kahnekar, the first woman firefighter of India! And it’s an incredible story too. All Harshini wanted was to adorn a uniform. From NCC to preparing for armed forces, a job with a uniform was all that she dreamed of.
Harshini was the first woman to apply to a fire engineering course at the National Fire Service College in Nagpur, a one-of-a-kind college in South East Asia, run by the Home Ministry. Her first hurdle – her family. It’s not a job women take up conventionally.
Being the only woman in college, she had to face a lot of infrastructural issues but she remained put. Lack of a hostel for females made her commute and life difficult and hectic too. But these are nothing in comparison to the expectations people had. As she became the torchbearer for women in this field, the weight of heavy water hoses, suction hoses, mock drill dummies etc. (which were heavy for everyone) became heavier for her in a society that’s often ready to mock a woman doing the new.
But she sailed through all of it. Harshini Kahnekar’s story of courage is about doing something no one has done before, about swimming against the tides, and against the odds. Her motivational story of courage is about having the courage to have absolute faith in your dream – so much that the word ‘can’t’ stops reaching your ears at all!