Anupriya Lakra from Odisha’s Maoist-hit Malkangiri district has become the first tribal woman from Odisha to fly a commercial plane.
The 27-year-old will soon join a private airline as a co-pilot and is likely to fly abroad shortly. Lakra achieved this feat 7 years after joining an aviation academy, which she had joined after quitting engineering studies midway.
The woman from the tribal-dominated district has also earned the praise of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who congratulated Lakra for the rare feat achieved through dedicated efforts. He also said that her achievement will set an example for others to emulate.
Lakra completed her matriculation from a convent in Malkangiri and higher secondary from a school in Semiliguda. Her father, Mariniyas Lakra is a Havildar in Odisha Police and mother Jamaj Yashmin Lakra is a homemaker.
She quit her engineering studies in Bhubaneswar mid-way and prepared for pilot entrance test in Bhubaneswar, her father said. In 2012, Anupriya joined the Pilot Training Institute in Bhubaneswar, he said.
Ecstatic about the success, her mother said: “I am very happy. It is a matter of pride for the people of Malkangiri. Her success will inspire other girls.” Anupriya was always encouraged to make efforts to translate her dreams into reality, her mother said.