Flying is Captain Indrani Singh’s passion and helping others her vocation. India’s first woman commercial pilot claims her life is enriched by doing her bit for the impoverished and the underprivilege
Captain Indrani Singh, 55
Education and Skills Activist
Flying is Captain Indrani Singh’s passion and helping others her vocation. India’s first woman commercial pilot claims her life is enriched by doing her bit for the impoverished and the underprivileged on earth—especially children—in spite of the challenges involved. “But I don’t give up easily,” she declares confidently.
She established Literacy India in 1996, to promote education and employment for poor children. The same year, Indrani got her flying command with Air India. After having “achieved all she wanted out of life”, she decided to give back to society, hoping to transform the lives of the less fortunate. She realised only education can make the difference.
The determined flyer started her literacy mission with just five children, but she felt the sky was the limit. Today, her organisation educates over 60,000 kids a year at 55 centres across 11 states.
“The journey wasn’t easy but then nothing comes easy in life,” says Indrani. Her other objective is to empower unprivileged women, helping them become self-sufficient and lead a life of respect.
During her work with children, Indrani realised that strengthening women is the secret to bring stability to the family. “Empowered women will not feel the need to lead a life subjugated by men and circumstances,” she says.
In 2012, Indrani entered the Limca Book of Records as the first woman to man the cockpit of an Airbus 300. “When I started flying, only four-five women were pilots. But there was a sense of security. Today, though the number of women pilots is on a substantive rise, the law and order situation in the capital makes them feel insecure,” she laments.
Today the former pilot provides vocational training for children throughout India to make a variety of products as corporate gifts.
How does such an occupied person like her manage her personal life? “When you are dedicated to something, you find ways,” she smiles.
Her son will soon be a flyer like her, having completed his pilot’s training. Indrani says, “Everyday I sleep well just because I have the inner satisfaction that my small effort has made someone else smile too.”