Piloting A Career

He was born and brought up in a labourer’s family in a Pulwama village around 73 km from Srinagar. His village lacked basic amenities like roads, electricity or access to modern education. However, the backwardness of his village or his family’s poverty did not dampen Sajad’s spirits.

Sajad Hussain Wani

“I always dreamt of doing something different,” he says.

Sajad Hussain Wani is a commercial pilot, with 3000 hours of flying hours under his belt. Armed with flying training from the world’s most prestigious flying institutions – Alteon Boing centre the UK and CEA airbus in France – the 34-year-old flies Kingfisher Airlines’ airbus. He has flown aeroplanes like Cessna 152, Multi Pertanavia 68C, and Boeing 737-700/-800 aircraft.

However, his parents wanted Sajad to be a doctor. “I would bunk classes and play cricket the whole day. But when my parents came to know about it, they just broke down that really moved me and I started to study with strong determination,” he says.

With board exams just two months away, Sajad left his home for Srinagar and lived at his father’s acquaintance at Ikhrajpora, Rajbagh.

After passing class 10th, he joined S P Higher secondary and secured good marks in class 12th. “I tried very hard to realise my parents’ dream of becoming a doctor but failed to qualify for the Common Entrance Test,” says Sajad.

However, his parents didn’t give up their dream of seeing him become a doctor. They sold their agricultural land to raise money to send him to Almata, Kazakhstan, for pursuing MBBS.

Not satisfied with a career in medicine, he returned home. He wanted to do “something bigger and better”. A month in Srinagar, Sajad began to nourish a dream of becoming a pilot.

He applied for the exam conducted by DGCA for pilots. In 1998 he was selected for a pilots training programme that would grant him a Commercial Pilot License.

To fly new generation Boeing airbuses, however, he required a one-month training at London but that would cost him around Rs 20 lacs. “My parents had already arranged lakhs of rupees, mostly through credit, for my studies and it was impossible for them to arrange more money. So I raised an education loan from J&K Bank,” he says.

Sajad feels that everyone must have the choice to pursue the career of his interest. “You will excel only in the career of your choice and interest,” says Sajad.

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