Meet 30-year-old Iram Habib, Srinagar's only woman pilot to fly a commercial aircraft.
In Class XII, when Iram Habib expressed her interest to join the aviation industry to her parents, she was met with discouragement. She eventually went on to pursue a Bachelor's in Forestry from Dehradun and did her postgraduation in Forestry from the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Kashmir.
It took her six years to convince her parents to allow her to pursue her dream and to find a new lease of life at a flying school in Miami, US. Her parents were understandably apprehensive about allowing their daughter to join the aviation sector as they thought commercial flying wasn’t meant for women living in conflict-torn Kashmir, but looking at her passion, they gave up.
Daughter of a businessman, the now 30-year-old Iram finished her training in the US in 2016 and became a commercial pilot there. In a conversation with the Tribune, she said,
I had to study hard and pass exams. In the US, I had 260 hours of flying experience, which is important for the licence. I got a commercial pilot licence in the US and Canada on the basis of my flying hours but I wanted to work in India.
Today, with offers from IndiGo and GoAir, she has become the first and the youngest commercial pilot from Srinagar, Kashmir. But despite her accomplishments, her choice of career is still frowned upon by relatives. Iram says,
They still can’t believe I chose this profession and got a job too.
Iram has also been trained in Bahrain and Dubai in Airbus 320, adds Zee News. In an official statement by Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Kashmir, Iram's alma mater, they said,
It is a proud moment for the Faculty of Forestry, SKUAST-K that one of our M.Sc Forestry pass outs, namely Iram Habib, daughter of Habibulah Zargar, has been selected as a first officer in the aviation sector.