Bhubaneswar: She had a childhood dream to fly in the skies. It was indeed a big dream for a village girl coming from a middle class family. For many, it was just a fairy tale and every day dreams of a little girl. But she was confident, determined and stuck to her goal till she achieved what was once seen as impossible by many.
Shelbi Mishra was born in Padampur village of Keonjhar district. As her father Bipin Mishra is in Navy, she used to listen to stories about aircraft and fighter planes, and gradually a dream to become a pilot took birth in her.
For a middle class family, it was difficult to afford the aviation studies of Shelbi, but she was never stopped by her family from nurturing her aspirations.
Having done her graduation in Aviation from Mumbai, she had to move to Texas for a flying course. It was a difficult time for the family as it was not easy to afford her aviation studies abroad. But neither the family nor Shelbi ever broke down.
At the age of 18 she became a pilot and today she is the youngest pilot of the State and the only female to be recruited as a commercial pilot by AirAsia.
“My father, being in Navy, always remains a guiding force for me towards becoming a pilot. I used to study about Kalpana Chawla in school. She is my role model whose works filled me with confidence to go for bigger dreams,” said Shelbi.
“Shelbi’s self-confidence, perseverance and determination made her what she is today. The whole family is proud of her,” said Sukanti, her mother.
In a different role, even though she is flying in the skies, Shelbi helps her mother in kitchen and in other daily chores.
“My granddaughter has become an example for others and a source of inspiration. All are happy with her achievement. I am proud of her,” said an ecstatic Surjyamani.