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|Born||19 September 1982
Pune, Maharashtra, India
|Years active||since 2004|
Tensing Norgay Award
Godavary Gaurav Puraskar
Shiv Chatrapati Maharashtra State Sports Special Award
Venutai Chavan Yuva Puraskar
|Website||Official web site|
BiographyShital Mahajan was born on 19 September 1982 at Pune in the Western Indian state of Maharashtra to Mamta Mahajan and Kamalakar Mahajan, an engineer working with Tata Motors. Her education was at the Fergusson College, Pune from where she graduated (BSc) in geology. Inspired by the feats of a friend's brother, she took a fascination for para jumping and tried to get training at Indian Navy facilities but was refused entry by the authorities. However, with the assistance of the then Indian president, APJ Abdul Kalam, she joined the National Defence Academy for training in skydiving and para jumping.[better source needed] Her first jump was on 14 April 2004 after which she is reported to have achieved 652 jumps.
Shital is married to Vaibhav Rane, a software engineer working in Finland. The solemnization of the marriage was performed on a hot air balloon, 600 feet above ground, on 19 April 2008, a feat which has been recorded in the Limca Book of World Records. The couple has twin sons.
Shital Mahajan is the founder of Phoenix Skydiving Academy, a skydiving training centre based in Pune. The academy, established in 2012, provides training facilities for aspiring students and prepares students for skydiving competitions around the world.
AchievementsShital Mahajan is the first woman to perform a free fall jump over the South Pole, which was completed on 15 December 2006. She also became the first woman to perform successful jumps over the North and South Poles, without trials, when she completed her jump over the South Pole. The attempt also made her the youngest woman to achieve the feat at the age of 24. The first Indian woman to perform a wing suit jump, Mahajan is a US certified A, B, C and D skydiver and trainer and is the first Indian civilian woman diving coach.
Mahajan was a part of the team that created a world record as the first team to perform free fall parachute jump over Antarctica. She has also led a team of 85 Indian skydivers to achieve a record for maximum tandem jumps in an hour, the jumps performed on 25 August 2014 at Spain. Her jump from 13000 feet performed on 19 April 2009 is also a record for the height in women's category. She is also credited with a free fall jump from a hot air ballon at 5800 feet and a jump at 24000 feet.
Awards and recognitionsShital Mahajan was awarded Godavary Gaurav Puraskar in 2005. The same year, she received the Shiv Chatrapati Maharashtra State Sports Special Award which was followed by the Venutai Chavan Yuva Puraskar. In 2004, after her successful jump over the North Pole in 2004, Mahajan was awarded the Tensing Norgay Award, making her the first civilian to receive the award. In 2001, Mahajan was included the list for Republic Day honours for the fourth highest Indian civilian award of Padma Shri.
- for a woman? It is nothing! "Interview" Check
|url=scheme (help). Sakal Times. 31 August 2012. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
- "Skydiving performance". Video. YouTube. 13 April 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2014.