Hailing from a nondescript hamlet in Jammu and Kashmir, Jubiksha Thakur (24), a flying officer in the Indian Air Force (IAF), is the new source of inspiration for young boys and girls in the state.
In a series of motivational lectures, Thakur told students on Thursday that the decision to come to Bhadarwah to take part in the "Sangam Youth Festival" organised by the Army changed her life forever as she decided to join the armed forces.
Hailing from Billan Bowlian in Udhampur district, Thakur joined the IAF as a flying officer this year, one of the first few women in the country to have done so. Her motivational lectures, organised by the Rashtriya Rifles unit based at Bhadarwah, are inspiring youngsters, especially girls, in the state to make a mark in life.
"I decided that I had to go for it, whatever it took. I would want every young boy and girl wanting to become a flying officer to dream big," Thakur told PTI.
In her message to the students of Kendriya Vidyalaya and PG College Bhadarwah, she said, "Your dreams may seem unconquerable at the moment. But you must chase those so hard that they become reality."
Stating that a "combination of average qualities" in her made her unique, Thakur said, "I climbed the ladder step by step, committing some mistakes as well, but kept going as I learned it the hard way. Instead of mourning over your failures and get into self-pity, you should work harder to achieve your goals."
She said being an NCC cadet helped her keep her nerves in the most difficult situations.
The lectures were followed by question-answer sessions with the students.
Aarushi, a Class 12 science student of Kendriya Vidyalaya, said she always thought becoming a doctor was the only option for her but Thakur's words changed that. "Joining the Army is my childhood dream. I will definitely strive harder to make my dream a reality," she said.
Komal Katal (27) of Garh Bhadarwah village said, "I always wanted to join the Army but in this part of the state, I never got an opportunity to try my luck.
Although I could not appear in AFCAT (Air Force Common Admission Test) because of the age bar, after attending the lecture of Jubiksha, I will work harder and give it a try to join the Territorial Army."
Besides Thakur, Commanding Officer, 4 Rashtriya Rifles Colonel D D Pandey also shared his experiences with the students.
"You should be passionate about your dreams and to reach your destination, you should not hesitate and think longer to take your first step. Just start your journey today and you will definitely reach your destination," he said.