Kavya Ravi Kumar, a Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) bus driver’s daughter, has realised her dream of becoming a pilot. The 22-year-old nurtured this dream ever since she was hardly five years old, reported TOI.

Recalling an incident, she said, “A family friend leaving abroad asked me to pick my choice from a heap of toys belonging to their son. I picked a plane not knowing that it was damaged. My father got it repaired seeing which the aunt took it back and gave it back to her son.”

This is when she decided she would fly a plane that everyone would see.

Kavya’s father VR Ravikumar, 58 is a TNSTC bus driver. Her mother Kalpana, 46, is a homemaker. She and her family live in a small rented house in Irulappasamy Koil Street at Palanganatham, Madurai, Tamil Nadu.

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Realising her dream

Kavya said, “I did not know whom to approach and where I could study until I saw an article in a newspaper when I was in my 10th standard on a flying school in Bengaluru.”

It was only after this incident that her parents realized that she was serious about becoming a pilot.

The will to fly

On making enquiries, Kavya got to know that she needed to complete her Std 12 with a minimum of 50% marks.

Paying the fees was the biggest hurdle. But her parents supported her by obtaining a loan by mortgaging their jewellery, which only amounted for about 6 lakh.

The amount was only enough for her theory classes and less than 35 hours of flying at the Government Flying Training School (GFTS), Bengaluru. A total of 200 hours are compulsory to complete the course.

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She also attempted to acquire a scholarship given to Scheduled Caste students in Tamil Nadu. Finally, she got a scholarship of Rs 20 lakh.

About two weeks ago, Kavya became the first one from GFTS Bengaluru to get a CPL in 21 years.

“I am disproving claims that there is no life without obtaining a degree. I want to fly and teach. There are many options before me like flying chartered flights and for airlines,” she said.

“I am confident of handling even a flight with an engine failure,” she added.

Kavya’s mother said she used to regret not having a son and only two daughters but Kavya’s achievements have made her proud. “I am sure a son would not have made me so proud,” she said.

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Kriti Dwivedi is an intern with SheThePeople.Tv

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