Meet Meghana Sakpal: First Woman Firefighter In Pune Fire Brigade

Meet Meghana Sakpal: First Woman Firefighter In Pune Fire Brigade

Despite encountering initial setbacks in her application to the Mumbai Fire Brigade, Meghana's determination prevailed, securing her selection in Pune's cadre.

Ankit ShuklaUpdated: Thursday, February 22, 2024, 05:16 PM IST
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Meet Meghana Sakpal: First Woman Firefighter In Pune Fire Brigade |

Meghana Sakpal, following in the footsteps of her father and grandfather, has achieved a groundbreaking feat by becoming Pune's inaugural woman firefighter.

Despite encountering initial setbacks in her application to the Mumbai Fire Brigade, Meghana's determination prevailed, securing her selection in Pune's cadre. Her accomplishment is more than just a personal triumph; it signifies a historic breakthrough, challenging entrenched gender norms within the esteemed 75-year-old Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) Fire Brigade. Notably, it underscores her family's enduring legacy in the noble field of firefighting.

At 26, Sakpal embarks on a path less traveled, joining a traditionally male-dominated industry, inspired by the distinguished service of her father, Mahendra Sakpal, and grandfather, Sadashiv Sakpal, who paved the way as firefighters.

Here's what Meghana said

In an interview with FPJ, Meghana shared, "Commencing my journey in 2019, I underwent a six-month training period in 2020 at Mumbai, which faced pandemic-related disruptions. Nevertheless, I persisted with self-practice."

"Out of 30 candidates, two dropped out due to fitness issues. Eventually, in the final merit, I secured a place in Pune, while five other girls were selected for Mumbai. Unfortunately, 22 girls faced disqualification due to low grades," she explained.

Reflecting on her training challenges, Meghana admitted, "I initially struggled with physical strength, unable to carry heavy weights. However, I diligently worked on improving my fitness. My parents, through photos and videos, inspired me from childhood, showcasing the essence of rescue work. While our strength may be perceived as weaker than men, hard work can fortify it. My determination stems from an early setback between 2008-2018 when my mother battled cancer during my seventh standard. Her passing in 2018 fueled my decision to work in a capacity that allows me to save lives."

Discussing her future responsibilities, Meghana asserted, "I am committed to upholding the belief and responsibility entrusted to me, aspiring to progress to a higher role as an officer within the department. In conclusion, I want to emphasise that if I, as a woman, could achieve this, then any woman can."

Meghana's father expressed immense joy, saying, "I am overjoyed and proud of my daughter's selection. I earnestly appeal to witness more girls assuming roles in the fire department."

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