FEB 3: Ayesha Aziz, the 25 -year-old from Kashmir who is the youngest female pilot in the country acts is a source of inspiration and a beacon of empowerment for numerous Kashmiri women. In the year 2011, Aziz became the youngest student pilot to get a license at the age of 15 and underwent training to fly a MIG-29 jet at Russia’s Sokol airbase the following year. She later graduated in aviation from the Bombay Flying Club (BFC) and obtained a commercial license in 2017.
Aziz said that she believed that Kashmiri women had progressed immensely in the last few years and have done exceptionally well in the field of education. “I think Kashmiri women are doing very well, especially in education. Every other woman in Kashmir is doing her Masters or her doctorate. People of the Valley are doing great,” she said.
Despite the odd timings required by the job and a dynamic work environment, the 25-year-old said that she was happy to take on the challenge.
“I chose this field because I have loved traveling since a very young age and was very fascinated by flying. One gets to meet so many people. This is why I wanted to be a pilot. It is quite challenging because this is not like a normal 9-5 desk job. There is no fixed pattern and I have to constantly be ready to face new places, different types of weather and meet new people,” she told.“In this profession, one’s mental state should be very strong because you’ll be carrying 200 passengers and it is a great responsibility,” she added.
She also expressed gratitude towards her parents, who have supported her and enabled her to achieve her dreams. “I am very lucky that I have parents who have supported me in everything. Without them, I would not have been able to get to where I am today. I am constantly looking for growth, on a professional and personal level. My father is my greatest role model,” she said.