Neerja Bhanot, the youngest recipient of the Ashoka Chakra award, was only 23 when she sacrificed her life in the line of duty.
A biopic titled "Neerja" has been made on the life of this braveheart, in which actress Sonam Kapoor portrays her.
Neerja was a flight attendant on Pan Am Flight 73, which was hijacked on 5 September, 1986, in Karachi, Pakistan, with 360 passengers on board.
The story of "Neerja" will showcase the young woman's courage during the attack. The prime targets of the terrorists were reportedly Americans, and, it is said, Neerja hid the passports of all the American passengers on board to save them from the hijackers.
After 17 hours of hijack, the terrorists opened fire on the passengers, leading Neerja to open the emergency door and helping many passengers escape.
She could have jumped out first, but decided to save as many passengers as she could, and ultimately gave away her life while shielding three children from a hail of bullets. After her death, the government honoured her with the Ashoka Chakra.
Born in Chandigarh, Neerja was a full-time flight attendant and a part-time model. She had featured in a number of commercials.
Daughter of Rama and Harish Bhanot, Neerja had an arranged marriage in 1985, which however, ended within two months, allegedly due to dowry pressure.
Neerja's family included her parents and two brothers — Akhil and Aneesh.
Check some of Neerja's rare photos in the slideshow above. Many of the photos are from her commercials.