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Pilot Fatima's Dreams of Flying a Plane Stuck in Red Tape

Since her school days, Fatima aimed to become a pilot. She underwent five years of rigorous training at Andhra Pradesh Aviation Academy and got her Commercial Pilot's License in 2013. She even has 200 hours of flying.

Sakshi Khanna | CNN-News18

Updated:June 7, 2016, 11:16 AM IST
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Hyderabad: Clad in a burqa, Syeda Salva Fatima has been an inspiration for many young girls and is an example of women empowerment. Residing in the old city area in Hyderabad, Fatima is among those handful of Muslim woman in India who hold a commercial pilot's licence.

To help Fatima achieve her dreams, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao personally sanctioned Rs 35.50 lakh for her advanced training.

But it's been more than 14 months and Fatima is still running around government offices for the funds.

"I was surprised when I was called to the Chief Minister's office and he was personally there. They sanctioned Rs 35 lakh. But for months I kept waiting for training at Telangana Aviation Academy," Fatima says.

The course for which the government had released fund was not available in Telangana State Aviation, so Asia Pacific Flight training academy was the only option. With a delay in the release of funds, Fatima has not only missed many opportunities but she is also losing crucial time.

Helpless but determined to fly high, Fatima has appealed to the Chief Minister to release the fund soon.

"My licence will expire in 2018. I need to complete the training and get a job before that. If it gets delayed how will a achieve it? I appeal to the Chief Minister to personally look into my case and help me," Fatima adds.

Coming from poverty-stricken background, becoming a pilot was never easy for Fatima.

Her father Syed Ashfaq Ahmed had never imagined his daughter will be flying an aircraft. He works as daily wage worker and earns Rs 350 per day. But now he is forced to leave his work, and accompany her daughter so that she can achieve her dreams.

"Personally the Chief Minister issued orders. With no money my daughter's career is at stake. We have come to various offices numerous times but all in vain. We cannot meet the Chief Minister directly to tell about our grievances," Ahmed says.

Since her school days, Fatima aimed to become a pilot. She underwent five years of rigorous training at Andhra Pradesh Aviation Academy and got her Commercial Pilot's License in 2013. She even has 200 hours of flying.

Fatima has defied all odds to become a pilot, but due to the bureaucratic red tape, her struggle continues.

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