Women officers of the Indian Air Force, Army and Navy interacted with over 700 Indian students from various CBSE-affiliated schools in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. According to the Ministry of Defence, the students were eager to know about the opportunities for women in the Indian armed forces and were thrilled to listen to the stories of grit, passion and success.

The women officers from the three services – Squadron Leader Bhawana Kanth, Colonel Ponung Doming and Lieutenant Commander Annu Prakash – were part of an Indian delegation to Saudi Arabia headed by Minister of State for Defence, Ajay Bhatt, to attend the World Defence Show 2024 in Riyadh.

Bhatt visited the General Authority for Defence Development (GADD), and met its Governor Faleh bin-Abdullah Al-Sulaiman. They discussed areas of bilateral defence cooperation and avenues for further collaboration. Bhatt also invited the GADD Governor to visit India at a convenient date.

Bhatt later visited the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and met with its President, Munir M Eldesouki.

He also paid a visit to the Saudi Arabian Military Industry – the Advanced Electronics Company (SAMI-AEC) headquarters – in Riyadh. Later, he visited Al-Turaif, a UNESCO world heritage site in Diriyah.

A community event was hosted in the honour of Bhatt at the Embassy of India in Riyadh. Addressing the gathering, he spoke about Government of India’s focus on holistic development of the nation and empowering women in all fields

A cultural programme was also organised by the students of Indian schools in Riyadh, which showcased the richness of India’s heritage and spirit of unity across borders.