Sangam city’s 21-year-old diving from the sky into record books

When most young women her age are busy with studies or their friends, a 21-year-old budding engineer from Sangam city has made history by becoming the youngest Indian woman to bag a license for professional sky-diving.

Anamika Sharma, the younger of the two daughters of junior warrant officer (retd) Ajay Kumar Sharma, first jumped from a height of 10,000 feet when she was just 11 years old. Today, she has 42 jumps to her name, having executed them using 10 different types of parachutes and six different aircraft.

“When you are in the air it gives a feeling of being free and once you touch the ground, the happiness and exhibition is tough to explain,” said the young achiever.

At the age of 21, she got her ‘A’ category professional United States Parachute Association (USPA) license from Dubai drop zone, this January.

This also makes both Anamika and her father, a trained commando of the Indian Air Force, the only father and daughter duo who are professional sky-divers in the country.

Be it her early schooling at Prayagraj or in different schools across the country and now pursuing a BTech degree from Bengaluru, Anamika’s passion for sky-diving under the guidance of her coach and father continues unabated.

“After some initial resistance from my mother, I have never looked back, and with the support of my family and best friend of my father, Santosh Nagraj, today I feel so proud of being just the fifth woman professional sky-diver in the country and the youngest to achieve the feat (bagging the USPA licence),” said Anamika, while talking over the phone from Bengaluru.

She added, “Now that everyone talks of women’s empowerment and we see girls going into every field, this field has an altogether different kind of challenge and huge scope, both nationally and internationally”.

Anamika was trained by her father and earlier by her father’s friend and ace sky-diver of the country, Santosh Nagraj, who has a category D USPA (United States Parachute Association) licence.

“To get a license as a professional sky-diver, she trained in Moscow in August-September 2021 and in Dubai in November 21 and again in January 2022. She now has jumped 42 times, performing different solo and group jumps. We have now started our preparations for an international competition which will be held four years down the line,” said Ajay Kumar Sharma.

Anamika is also preparing hard for the international competition as till date, no Indian has participated on the international level.

“The government will soon be coming up with national air sports policy which is all set to give the needed push to this challenging field of sports and also make daughters of our country give a stiff challenge to their foreign counterparts,” said Anamika, whose mother , Priyanka Kumari, is still afraid to watch her daughter leap off from the height of around 14,000 feet.

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