Pragya Shekhawat joins USAF, Rajasthan village cheers


Residents of Jakhal in Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan are in a celebratory mood ever since they heard that a young woman from a family originally hailing from their small village had been commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force.

Pragya Shekhawat joined the US Air Force September 19 and the entire village was rejoicing ever since, her uncle Basant Singh Shekhawat said.

He said that Pragya’s brother Suveer Shekhawat was also commissioned in the US Air Force in 2015 as a second lieutenant, and has since been promoted to captain.

The extended family of Pragya’s father still lives in the village, situated on the Guda-Nawalgarh Road.

Basant Singh said that the US ceremony was held sans fanfare due to the coronavirus pandemic, though Pragya’s 91-year-old grandmother Icharaj Kanwar also joined in online.

The family said that after the young woman was inducted into the air force, Pragya saluted her brother as well.

Basant Singh recalled that Pragya shared a special bond with her father’s village.

Pragya visited the village three years ago and stayed back for nearly a year. During her stay, she taught robotics to village kids,” her visibly elated uncle said.

He said that Pragya’s father, Dushyant Singh, was a teacher in Sirohi, but went to the US in 1993. He obtained a degree in engineering in the US and worked as a scientist. Pragya’s mother, Archana Kanwar, is a teacher.

Both Pragya and her brother Suveer were born in the US, but are regular visitors to their family’s native village since the siblings wish to remain close to their roots,” Basant Singh said.