23-year-old tribal woman becomes first female pilot from Malkangiri district

After clocking 200 flight hours in the cockpit, she finally obtained the certificate of commercial pilot last month.

Published: 09th September 2019 09:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th September 2019 02:24 PM   |  A+A-

Anupriya Lakra (Photo | Facebook)

Express News Service

MALKANGIRI: Just breaking the glass ceiling was not her horizon. She wanted to fly beyond it into the sky and stamp her footprint where men rule the roost. And today, the tribal girl from Malkangiri is a certified commercial pilot.

For Anupriya Lakra, life began from the sleepy, remote Malkangiri town. Daughter of Mariniyas Lakra, a constable with Odisha Police and Jemayashmin Lakra, she started her school life in DEEPTI convent school here and passed HSC examination from Semiliguda-based Jeevan Jyoti School in neighbouring Koraput district.

After passing Plus Two Science from Vikash institute in Sundargarh, Anupriya cleared the entrance examination and took admission in Government Aviation Training Institute (GATI) in Bhubaneswar in 2012 to pursue her childhood dream of being a pilot.

On successful completion of pilot training at GATI, she went for commercial pilot training course at various training institutes in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi for six years, said her mother Jemayashmin Lakra.

After clocking 200 flight hours in the cockpit, she finally obtained the certificate of commercial pilot last month. She has been selected to join as a co-pilot with Indigo airlines soon. Besides her family, Anupriya got financial assistance from the Central Government for the training.

“It was a dream come true for my daughter. I have not seen an aeroplane in my life but I am happy and proud that Anupriya has given wings to her goal,” said Jemayashmin.

Father Mariniyas, needless to say, is proud. “My daughter is just not my pride but that of the entire district. Though I am a simple constable, I made sure that my daughter gets educated in the field of her choice. For this achievement, credit goes to my wife who supported Anupriya a lot,” he said.

Anupriya plans to go to Spain for pilot training of international flight which would cost around Rs 20 lakh.

As her family has exhausted all the savings for her, Jemayashmin has appealed to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who is ensuring women’s empowerment in the State, to extend a helping hand.

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