Odisha girl becomes first pilot from Malkangiri

Bhubaneswar/Malkangiri: It’s no mean feat to land a job as a aviation pilot, especially for a tribal girl from Odisha’s Maoist-infested Malkangiri district.

Meet Anupriya Lakra from the tribal-dominate district whose sheer determination and hard work has made her realize her dreams.

Anupriya dropped out from engineering studies in Bhubaneswar to pursue training in aviation sector. She enrolled herself at Government Aviation Training Institute (GATI) in 2012. The tribal girl dreamt big very early. After completing her 7th standard at Dipti Convent School in Malkangiri, she moved to Semiliguda to complete her matriculation from Jeevan Jyoti School. From there, she went to Sundargarh College to complete her intermediate studies.

The young girl had set her eyes on the sky. With support from family and relatives, she could relocate to Bhubaneswar for higher studies.

“She asked me to pursue career in aviation sector. My brothers (her uncles) were quite supportive. They backed me up and ultimately she enrolled herself for aviation training,” Anupriya’s mother Jimaj Jasmine Lakra expressed.

Anupriya recently got an offer to work with a private carrier as a co-pilot. She will be initially posted at Singapore, family sources said.

Hailing from a modest background, funding for her higher studies was a challenge.

“All credit goes to my wife. She took up as a challenge to train her as a pilot. I never bother too much in this regard. I used to handover my salary to my wife. She managed everything,” Anupriya’s father Mriniyas Lakra said.

Mriniyas works as a Havildar in Odisha Police. The Lakra family lives at DNK Colony in Malkangiri.

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