New Delhi: The Defence Ministry in an unprecedented decision has allowed a flight cadet suffering from paralysis to join the Indian Air Force as a ground duty officer in accounts branch.
Defence Minister AK Antony has approved IAF chief Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne’s proposal for retention in service and commissioning of Flight Cadet RK Herojit Singh, who got paralysed waist downwards after a flying accident during his service training at the Air Force Station Hakimpet on August 28, 2011.
The cadet from Manipur was an achiever in the National Defence Academy and in the Air Force Academy, Dundigal, where he was training to fly fighter jets before he met with the accident, which broke his spinal cord.
A firm believer in “People First Mission Always and not the one to leave its people or equipment behind”, the IAF chief approached the Defence Minister for special approval for commissioning into Accounts Branch after further training of six months.
The case is special because Flight Cadet Herojit did not meet the medical norms for commissioning due to an injury, which occurred during his flying training, prior to his course completion and subsequent commission into the IAF.
He sustained spinal cord injuries, which left him paralysed waist downwards (Paraplegia). Presently hospitalised in MH Kirkee and mobile on a wheel chair, his intellectual and motor capabilities are fully intact.
Herojit not only had a meritorious record, with exceptional performance in all fields during service training he was also adjudged as “The Most Accomplished Flight Cadet” of his course.
Herojit will undergo a further six months of training in Accounts Branch at Air Force Academy, Dundigal, Hyderabad from January 09, 2013.