Srinagar: Two young Kashmiris have brought laurels after Air India picked them as pilots.
26-year-old Raja Shahzaib Raza from south Kashmir’s Tral and 19-year old Burhan Ali from Beerwah in central Kashmir’s Budgam district would be joining Air India, as commercial pilots.
Raja Shahzeb wanted to become a pilot from school days
“From the third grade, I wanted to become a pilot, although my family wanted to see me in the civil service, but I pursued to fulfill my passion,” Shahzaib told UNI from Delhi.
Shahzaib’s family migrated from his ancestral town of Tral to Srinagar before his father got married and lived in Kathi Darwaza area of Rainawari in old city.
He completed schooling in various schools of Srinagar and later decided to pursue his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering.
“I completed a three-year course from the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Academy,” Shahzaib said.
Shahzaib’s parents wanted him to complete his education first.
“Since my father is an engineer, he wanted me to finish my engineering too. It was during the last year of my engineering that I enrolled in the IGRUA. It was my childhood dream.”
IGRUA is located in Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh and is an autonomous body under the control of the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
“It took us three years to complete the training due to the weather conditions of UP, otherwise this training is completed within two years,” he said.
Youngest in the family, Shahzaib has two elder sisters, one of whom is an electrical engineer now settled in London and the other one is pursuing her MD (Gynecology) from Lucknow.
“We have to appear in exams every three months in a year to qualify the papers. And we can do it anytime like before flying, even after that and even during the flying” he said and added, “We have six subjects and two licences.”
Shahzaib believes that the youth of Kashmir are not only hardworking but also very talented and can achieve a unique position in any field to earn a decent livelihood.
“To become a pilot was a different field, so I had to face several difficulties in explaining it to the family”, he said and added “but at every stage I had their full support which enabled me to reach my destination.”
The pilot picked by Air India is Burhan, son of a retired Deputy Superintendent of Police, Ali Mohammad Dar, a resident of Beerwa. He did his schooling upto class X from New Era Public School Rajbagh Srinagar and passed his class XII from Tyndale Biscoe.
He later qualified an entrance test for aviation training at Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi in Uttar Pradesh.
Burhan was later allotted Commercial Pilot License (CPL) by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) that allowed him to act as a Pilot.