Captain Anny Divya’s story is one of sheer grit and dedication and about never compromising when it comes to chasing your dreams.
The world’s youngest woman to captain the Boeing 777, the journey to the top hasn’t been one without obstacles or challenges for Anny.
Currently based in Mumbai, the young aviator had always dreamed of becoming a pilot and did so at the age of 19.
“Since my childhood, I wanted to be a pilot. Other children used to make fun of me for this. Kids, at that time, were pushed to pursue engineering or become a doctor but not a pilot,” Anny told to HT.
Coming from an army background, one would think Anny must have had it easy. While she had rock-solid support from her parents, dissent often cropped up in form of family friends and relatives.
“Luckily, my parents never forced their choice on me. They were supportive and progressive in their thinking. My mother always used to encourage me. However, my relatives and my family friends were against my decision to become a pilot. Also, at that time, being a pilot was not considered as a profession for woman,” she said.
After her father took voluntary retirement, the family moved to Vijayawada, where Anny did her schooling. Hailing from a modest background, their family had their share of financial shortcomings. “Since I grew up in Vijayawada, I could write and read English but speaking English was a major challenge that I had to overcome,” Anny said.
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Post her school education, the 17-year-old Anny made it to Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi (IGRUA), one of the premier flying schools in the country.
With a loan-backed funding for her education, the language barrier posed a major struggle for the flying enthusiast.
“The cultural change from a small town to a big city was overwhelming for me. I had difficulty adjusting and speaking English. People used to mock me for my poor English and that hurt me a lot. At times, I had even thought of going back. However, backed with my parents’ support, I worked hard enough to win a scholarship,” she added.
Completing her training by the time she was 19, Anny bagged a job with Air India and since then, there has been no looking back. Post her training, she kickstarted her flying carrier with Boeing 737.
“When I turned 21, I was sent to London for further training. It was then when I started to fly Boeing 777. Since then, my life has changed. It’s been a great experience so far. I’ve got the opportunity to travel to various countries. My journey so far has taught me a lot,” Anny added.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going!