From Auto Driver to an Airline Pilot
Those who say I can do it and those who say I can’t do it are both usually Right, No one can stop you in achieving your goals other than you. If you really want to achieve your goals you’ll find a way, If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.’
Shrikant Pantawane from Nagpur, an auto-driver and son of a security guard, started working early in life as a delivery boy to support his family’s dwindling finances. Later he took to driving an auto to make ends meet. At a very young age Shrikant was burdened with responsibilities and he would balance both his job and studies to support his family.
But hardships, obstacles and financial struggles never disheartened him from pursuing his dreams.
Shrikant still sits behind a three-wheeled vehicle, but now its not his auto-rikshaw, but an aircraft!
With handwork, determination and a pinch of luck, Shrikant achieved what he had only dreamt of as a child.
Once when Shrikant had gone to the airport to deliver a parcel, during a conversation with cadets he learnt that one could also become a pilot even without being inducted in the Indian Air Force. His conversation with a tea-seller outside the airport apprised him of a pilot scholarship program by the DGCA. There was no stopping for Shrikant after this.
He immediately grabbed his class 12 books and started studying and preparing for the scholarship. After the class 12 results were declared, he joined a flight school in Madhya Pradesh but he had one major obstacle in his way- English. Taking the bull by its horn, he accepted the challenge and surpassed the language barrier with help from his friends.
Shrikant passed the examination with flying colours and got his commercial pilot license, but global recession and a sluggish aviation market kept him at bay. To support himself and his family, he joined as an executive in a company.
He worked as a corporate executive for sometime but always kept hoping for flying in the sky.
Two months back, he received a call from Indigo Airlines that included him as a First Officer in its pack of pilots.
Salute to Shrikant’s spirit and determination !