Anny Divya; The youngest ever woman commander of Boeing 777 in India
On WonderfulWomen you have read stories of women which reiterate that we should never stop chasing our dreams. These stories prove that if our willpower is strong, then no matter what comes in our way, we will always achieve what we want. One such motivational story is of Anny Divya, India’s youngest woman commander to fly Boeing 777. To become a pilot and fly high had been Anny’s dream since childhood. Her journey towards fulfilling this dream was full of challenges.
Beginning of Anny’s Dream
Anny Divya was born in Pathankot, Punjab. Her father, who was a soldier in the army, was posted there. After 19 years of job he took voluntary retirement and settled in Vijaywada, Andhra Pradesh. Anny did her schooling in Vijaywada. Since her childhood, she wanted to become a pilot. Her classmates and friends used to make fun of her for this. Children, at that time, were forced by parents to either pursue engineering or become a doctor. Fortunately, her parents never forced their choice on her. They were quite supportive and progressive in their thinking. Anny’s mother always used to encourage her. Even her relatives and family friends were against her decision to be a pilot. At that time, being a pilot was not considered as a profession for woman.
Anny started flying the Boeing 737 at the age of 19.
Initial struggles of Anny Divya
Anny Divya hails from a modest background. Her family faced financial crisis. She could write and read English but speaking English was a major challenge that she had to overcome. Right after class 12th, when she was 17 years old, Anny got through Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi (IGRUA), the flying school in Rae Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh. Her father took a loan of Rs. 15 lakhs for her education. The cultural change from a small town life to a big city shocking for her. She found it difficult to adjust with people and speak fluent English. In fact, people used toridicule her for her poor English. This hurt her a lot. Often, she thought of going back. But she didn’t. With the support of her parents, she continued to work hard and eventually won a scholarship.
Anny Divya’s flight to victory
Anny had completed her training when she was only 19 years old. Right after she finished her training, she got a job with Air India. During that period, for the first time, she got the opportunity to fly abroad. She was sent to Spain for a training. When she returned, she was given the opportunity to fly Boeing 737. Since then, she has been climbing the ladder of success. When she turned 21, she was sent to London for further training. There she started to fly Boeing 777. Since then, her life changed. Her experience to tackle challenges and emerge victorious has been great. She got the opportunity to travel to various countries.Her journey has taught her a number of valuable lessons in life.
Anny Divya as an agent of change
Although being a pilot is still considered fit for the men, the popular view that this profession is not for women has changed to a great extent. Anny Divya feels proud that India has taken lead over rest of the world including developed countries, in number of women pilots. In India, 15% women fly as airline pilots, while globally, it is an average of approximately 5%.
Anny’s Advice for aspiring female pilots
Anny Divya says, “Your parents are your biggest support , so trust them to keep you grounded. And last but not the least –there’s no substitute for hard work.”