BALLIA, July 29 (IANS): The Bakwa village in Bansdih in Ballia district broke into a jig the moment five Rafale fighter jets landed at the IAF airbase in Ambala on Wednesday, as Wing Commander Manish Singh, who belongs to this village, piloted one of the aircraft from France.
Manish's father, Madan Singh, is a retired army jawan. "I have distributed sweets in the entire village because my son is a part of a history-making initiative. People are also bursting crackers and lighting diyas to celebrate the occasion," he said.
His wife Urmila Singh said that she was glad that her son had done something to strengthen the country.
"We had been waiting for this moment since the past three days and were following every step through the media and social media. The entire nation is celebrating and so are we," she said.
The family said that they had spoken to Manish minutes before the take-off from France.
Manish's sister Anjali said that her brother has already given her the Raksha Bandhan gift by bringing the Rafale.
Village head Arun Singh said that hundreds of people had reached Manish's house to celebrate the occasion with flowers, sweets and crackers. "Manish is now an icon for the youth," he said.
The family members said that Manish had got his education in the village till Class IV and then went to the Sainik School in Karnal where his father was posted. Manish joined the Air Force in 2002 and was posted in Gorakhpur in 2017-18.
"That was when he came to the village and met everyone," said the village head.
Manish has two sisters and one brother.