When the ill-fated US-Bangla flight crashed right before landing at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal on 12 March 2018, much of the initial discussion was focused on whether it was the fault of the air traffic control or did the pilot made a terrible miscalculation. The issue is still to be determined by multiple investigation teams that are working on this. However, the agonizing description of what was happening in the passenger cabin right before, during and right after the crash, brought out some amazing heart touching stories of heroism. According to at least 10 survivors, the only factor that stood between their death and survival was one human being, a woman, the female co-pilot of the aircraft, a 25 year old Prithula Rashid. According to those survivors, Prithula helped them get out of the burning aircraft, and doing so aggravated her own injuries and burns from the blazing fire. She later died of her injuries at the hospital. Nepalese people and press hailed her for her courage.


Prithula Rashid, an alumnus of North South University, Dhaka, Bangladesh, belonged to a generation of women who have challenges the set norms of a conservative society where certain professions are still off-limits to many young women. Prevailing social norms tend to keep many young women and girls away from the profession of their dreams, despite their talent and passion for these jobs.


She had dared to become an airplane pilot, a profession that is dominated by men in the country. But on March 12, 2018, Prithula became one of the 49 people killed aboard the Flight BS 211. To show respect to the bravery and kindness of Prithula, and to inspire other young women to break through the status quo of social and professional segregation, a facebook page @respectforprithula (#RespectforPrithula) was created where people from all age, gender, race and religion are posting pictures with a candle in their hand to show respect to the bravery of this young woman. The page has already got almost 13 thousand likes.



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