Not only she is the first and youngest woman from Jammu and Kashmir to become a commercial pilot, Tanvi Raina is a trained Kathak dancer and an ace basket ball player. She represented her school in Basketball in the Common Wealth Games.
Tanvi was 18 years old when she lived her dream of flying an aeroplane. At this age, most of the youngsters don’t even know what they want to do with their lives. She dreamt of becoming a pilot because of her father, Captain Kapil Raina, who is a senior commander, check pilot on the Airbus fleet of Air India.
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This Kashmiri Pandit girl belongs to Karan Nagar in Srinagar and she has completed her schooling from Convent of Jesus & Mary in Delhi and learnt flying aeroplane at the prestigious Haryana Institute of Civil Aviation, Karnal. She received her commercial pilot license from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation after passing six written exams, besides attaining 200 flying hours and 150 hours of Command.
When a leading daily asked Tanvi as to why she dreamt of making a career choice in the male-dominated aviation sector, she replied with a smile, “the challenge that it is a male-dominated sector”.
She added that the sector has not remained a male domain now. Many girls around the world and even in India are working as commercial pilots, why not a girl from Jammu and Kashmir. “If Kashmiri girls can become doctors and engineers, why not pilots?” she said.
When she asked that what is her favourite thing about her career, she said that she bonding and discipline in this profession.
She said that she used to get fascinated to see her father wearing crisp white shirt, black pants and tie and then eventually four strips on his applets and the wings. It was the uniform, the command, the responsibility that lured me into this profession.
Talking about what challenges he got to face to attain her license of commercial pilot, Tanvi said, “I faced the same things that my fellow mates face. There was the exam stress, doing the best landings, not getting medically unfit. I personally didn’t feel much because I thought of it more as an opportunity than a challenge. So I grabbed whatever I could with both my hands and because of God’s grace and my well-wishers blessings, I have succeeded till now…oh yes..! A bit of my hard work too.”
Tanvi has spent most of her time outside the state pursuing education but she said that she never missed out the rich culture, communal harmony and brotherhood of Kashmir all because of her family.
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“Thankfully my parents never made me or my siblings feel that we were missing out on something. The festivals, our culture, our literature, our heritage, our customs… we were enlightened about it by our parents who themselves are extremely well informed about it,” Tanvi said.