Ayesha Aziz from Kashmir shows us again that age is not a barrier to achieve something. The 25 year old girl is reportedly the youngest pilot of India.
Ayesha loved flying since her childhood, and decided to pursue her passion under any circumstance.
In 2011, she 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 also underwent a two-month space training course at US space agency NASA in 2012, where she met her idol Sunita Williams.
Ayesha graduated from Bombay Flying Club (BFC). The following year, at the age of 21, she bagged her commercial pilot’s license.
While speaking to ANI, Ayesha spoke about why she enjoys her profession.
"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," said Ayesha.
"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. Talking about how far Kashmiri women have come, she said, "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.".
Born in Kashmir, Ayesha later moved to Mumbai with family.
Back in 2017, she had the privilege to meet Rabia Futehally, the first Indian woman to pilot an aircraft as a private pilot’s license-holder in the 1960s.
In 2018, Ayesha was felicitated by the Army Chief and President of India under the "First Ladies" title at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
(Edited by Anju Narayanan)