In a patriarchal society where women are raised to get married, there are few parents who become wind under their daughters’ wings. They not only make them believe in their dreams but also make sure that they leave no stone unturned in helping their daughters to realize their true potential!
Anny Divya is blessed with such parents. From making her believe in her dreams to using all their life savings for her course, here’s how Anny Divya’s parents left no stone unturned to make sure that Divya never gives up on her dreams.
For those who don’t know, at age of 30, Divya became the youngest female commander of a Boeing 777 in India and, according to CNN, in the world too. Divya has been a pilot with Air India, ever since she graduated flying school at 19.
But, scaling such great heights at such young age, would have been impossible if she wasn’t blessed with such supportive parents.
While sharing her inspiring story with HoB, Anny Divya mentioned:
“I had an assignment in school that asked me to mention, ‘10 things I wish to achieve in this lifetime.’ Without any doubt, the first thing on my list was to become a pilot and the second was to become a lawyer.
I was educated in Vijayawada. I could read and write English, but I wasn’t comfortable speaking it. But I knew I wanted to graduate from flying school so instead of hanging out with my friends, I’d study. I made sure I got the highest grades in class.”
While talking about her supportive parents, Anny Divya once mentioned how her mother told her that she could become a pilot one day. At that time, Divya was in class 5. Further sharing how her family supported her, Anny Divya mentioned:
“And my family was the most supportive–never did they say, ‘This isn’t a field for you,’ or ‘We can’t afford the course,’ despite the fees being astronomical! My parents used their life savings and borrowed money to pay my fees. I promised myself to give it my all, for them.”
But, her journey to the world stage was anything but easy. Sharing her challenges, she mentioned:
“…at flying school, I couldn’t make friends with the other girls as they only spoke in English. I was often mocked for my accent and when I mispronounced words; I’d retreat into a shell. I was so naive; once, a guy asked me if I knew what date was, I mentioned, ‘Yes, it’s what you find in the calendar!’ The whole team laughed.
I tried to not let their comments bog me down. Instead, I told myself, ‘I’m here to learn!’ I’d listen to them carefully to pick up how they spoke. I’d go online and learn how to speak English better. Over time, my confidence grew when I spoke English regardless of the mistakes I made.”
Finally, her determination and courage resulted in a great milestone.
“I was 19 when I graduated with flying colors! My life’s greatest moment came when I received my pilot’s license and got a job. I had to then travel to Spain for my 737 training; I was thrilled!
When I returned home after my training, I took up LLB as well– why couldn’t I do both? I’d make time for my LLB classes as soon as my flight landed. I’d study while I was on the flight and wake up early everyday to be caught up. I studied like that for 3 years, and passed my LLB exams!”
While sharing how she finally accomplished her dream of becoming a pilot, she mentioned:
“After that, I completed my 777 in London; I was 21. After years of hard work and flying, I became the youngest female commander to fly a Boeing 777. It was the most liberating feeling in the world! I’d never felt more aware; my senses were awake! I got goosebumps as I realized I accomplished my dream.”
But in the end, she shares how she may be indulged in various activities, there is the only thing that gives her unparallel happiness.
Today, I have over 6000 hours of jet experience. But why stop there? I’ve started modelling and acting, and have launched a business for my parents. But nothing beats the feeling of flying a plane when my parents are the passengers– every time they hear the captain’s announcement, they start clapping!”
At IFORHER, we are in awe of Divya’s inspiring journey and how her family supported her throughout. We hope every young girl seeks inspiration from Divya to dream big! Thanks, Divya for inspiring many of us to fight our circumstances and reach for the stars! Hope you will achieve many more milestones and keep inspiring us!