In a remarkable achievement that has brought pride to the Baduga community in the picturesque Nilgiris region, 27-year-old MM Jayashree has etched her name in history as the first woman from her community to obtain a private pilot license (PPL). Hailing from Kurukathi near Kotagiri, Jayashree, the daughter of retired village administrative officer J. Mani, pursued her schooling locally and later completed her college education with a degree in Computer Science & Engineering from Coimbatore.

Jayashree’s dream of taking flight began to take shape in 2020, a year that challenged the world with the COVID-19 pandemic. While working remotely for an IT company, she found herself drawn to the idea of becoming a pilot. Extensive research and heartfelt discussions with friends and family solidified her determination. Eventually, she enrolled in a pilot training program offered by an institute located in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The pursuit of her dream was not without its challenges. Initially, Jayashree’s mother, Meera, had reservations about sending her daughter abroad to embark on a different career path. However, Jayashree’s unwavering resolve led her to overcome these obstacles.

Over the course of the past six months, Jayashree dedicated herself to her pilot training. Her recent return home marked a significant milestone in her journey. She proudly announced, “I have successfully completed eight written exams and two oral tests, all while accumulating an impressive 70 hours of flying experience.” Her aspirations don’t stop there; she now aims to continue her training for a commercial pilot license, which requires accumulating 250 hours of flying time and clearing ten more exams.

With determination in her heart and the skies as her canvas, Jayashree expressed her ultimate goal, saying, “In the future, I aspire to fly as a pilot in my home country, which has always been my dream.” Her inspirational journey serves as a testament to the heights one can reach when pursuing their passion, breaking barriers, and shattering stereotypes.

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This remarkable achievement by MM Jayashree is not just a personal triumph but also a shining example for young women and her entire Baduga community in the Nilgiris. Jayashree’s dedication and tenacity remind us that the sky is not the limit; it’s just the beginning.