Syeda Salva Fatima: A Pilot gives wings to dreams of many

A Youtube channel “LATEST CELEBRITY NEWS” has featured Syeda Salva Fatima who is all set to join an airline and is one of the four Muslim women in India who hold a Commercial Pilot’s Licence (CPL).

Syed Ashfaq Ahmed, who is a bakery worker of modest means, never thought his daughter could realize her dream and become a pilot one day. He was aware of her fascination for flying and Airplanes but with his poor earnings in India, he could never think of ever being able to help her fulfill her life’s dream of becoming a pilot.

But everything changed when she appeared at the EAMCET coaching at an institute. “What will you like to become”, the instructor asked, and he couldn’t believe his ears when the girl said “A Pilot.” Although everyone who heard her was amused by her answer and they dismissed it as a childish idea. Zahid Ali Khan, Editor of the Urdu Daily, Siasat, believed Salwa when he saw the determination in her eyes when she said it. And it was he who offered her moral and financial support initially to realize her dream.

He encouraged and groomed Salwa. But the support didn’t stop there when he used his vast influence to get her admitted to the Andhra Pradesh Aviation Academy in 2007. After that, she was unstoppable and Salwa is now busy appearing for interviews of various airlines in Delhi and is hopeful of landing a job soon.

She was recently asked if being a woman makes piloting difficult? To which she replied, “Not at all. The aircraft doesn’t know or care about your gender. You just have to perform.”

As a liberated woman, it’s a pity she won’t go as far as to ditch the traditional Muslim Hajib she is forced to wear. If we want to talk about gender and equality it’s hard not to bring a fact like that to light. Her culture tells her she can’t show other men her head and that she needs to wear modest clothing but she is worried about equality? Seems a bit far-fetched don’t you agree?