This girl from Kolkata has definitely set an example for those who aspire to do something different in their life. She never gave up on her constant urge to stand out from the crowd even when not everyone around her was in sync with her dreams.

Tania Sanyal - The First Female Firefighter

LifeBeyondNumbers spoke to 25-year-old Tania Sanyal about her constant fight to stand apart from the crowd. She has become the first female firefighter to be appointed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and being a part of this male dominating industry makes her journey quite interesting.

I always wanted to do something different and something great in life. The last thing I wanted for myself is running with the crowd and become a part of the rat race, says Tania.

Tania has done masters in Botany from Barasat Government College but she always wanted to do something different. She came across a newspaper add by AAI, which changed her fate forever.

Tania is full of dreams and her parents have played a great role in her success. She says,I had a very liberal upbringing. My parents have always supported my choices. It is important to feel confident about your own decisions. People’s perception of me will keep changing, but it is necessary that one takes charge of her own life and live it to the fullest.

For safety purposes, there is a necessity to keep firefighting services handy at all airports. A daily report says that AAI employs about 3, 310 firefighters but none of them are female workers. There were hardly any recruitment norms for women in this industry before. Recently, due to the launching of new airports, there was a shortage of firefighters, and therefore AAI has made changes in the hiring process and is looking forward to female candidates who want to join the aviation industry.

This is the first time a woman has joined our ranks in this field and it will continue now,” said Guruprasad Mohapatra, the AAI chairman who brought about this change.

While the work responsibilities are same for both women and men, relaxations were made in the height and weight norms. The male firefighters need to be 5.24 feet tall and 50 kg in weight. Women need to weigh a minimum of 40 kg, he added.

In the training center too, I have worked with my male colleagues who were very supportive and this makes working in a male-dominated industry much easier. I feel extremely honored to be a part of AAI,” Tania said.

Tania has completed her training in the Kolkata firefighting center and is now looking forward to joining AAI’s eastern region airports.

So maybe men are from Mars and women are from Venus, but how can that affect the choice of jobs? It can be no reason for occupational segregation on the basis of sex. Or is it?