This young, brave Muslim woman from Kashmir ‘flies’ to create records
Mumbai, March 24: Meet India's youngest student pilot, Ayesha Aziz, who is all set to turn professional in a few days from now. Ayesha, 21, will get a commercial pilot's licence within a day or two and fly passenger aircraft soon, say reports. Ayesha, who is a native of Kashmir, is currently a Mumbai resident. She stays with her family in the city.
In fact, a few years ago, Ayesha created a record by becoming the country's youngest student pilot at 16. In 2011, she received a student pilot's licence. Last year, Ayesha has graduated in aviation from the Bombay Flying Club. She has flown single-engine aircraft for 200 hours for her training.
The young woman credits her success to her father, Abdul Aziz, a businessman from Worli, Mumbai. "I have always believed that knowledge and enquiry are keys to human progress. If my child had a dream which was achievable, I had to be part of the process and see that she realised this dream," Abdul told Times of India.
In an earlier interview to India Today, Ayesha said she always dreamt of flying an airplane. "As a child I used to think whether one day I will be able to do that. I am glad that I am a pilot now. My dream is gradually turning into a reality," she said.
Her love for flying was not always a smooth one. She had a few rough patches too. When the news of her becoming the country's youngest student pilot was highlighted by the media, many conservative Muslims slammed her for choosing a profession 'not suitable for a Kashmiri girl'.
"If the Prophet's wife Hazrat Ayesha could ride a camel in a battle, why can't I fly an aircraft? We have to change our attitude and do justice to girls," she said. "Women must be allowed to come out of their comfort zone and take up more challenging careers than just becoming teachers, doctors or stay as housewives even if they are educated."