My Story: 'I Volunteered For The Vande Bharat Mission, But Flying To Shanghai During COVID Crisis Was Scary'

Laxmi Joshi volunteered to fly for the Vande Bharat Mission and she was tasked to fly to Shanghai when China was peaking with COVID cases. She left worried parents back home in the service of the country.

I sat in the aircraft when I was just eight years old, and I had decided back then that I would become a pilot one day. In the olden days, the Aviation industry was considered to be a male-dominated avenue; therefore, I was questioned time and again if I would be able to fly a plane or not. Nonetheless, my parents always had my back and supported me in my journey from an aspirant to become a pilot. After finishing my Class 12, I went straight to New Zealand to get my commercial pilot's license. In 2012, I was a trained commercial pilot.

I Volunteered For The Vande Bharat Mission

I started working with Air India, and my first flight was Airbus 320 from Mumbai to Delhi, and when I entered the cockpit, I realized that my childhood dream had finally come true. I had dreamt all my life of that moment in the cockpit. Fortunately, my parents were very broadminded and supportive; thus, I did not bear the brunt of society wanting me to 'settle down'. After the COVID crisis ravaged the world, I volunteered to fly in the Vande Bharat mission. At first, my parents were a little worried since it was the peak time when Covid had just hit the country. We had to fly to China to bring vaccinations, masks, hazmat suits and other medical supplies for our country, but it was my duty call, and I feel proud to be a part of the mission. I did many rescue flights to bring back Indians stranded in USA, Paris, Canada and many more countries. All this experience will always remain a cherished memory for me.

Never Give Up On Your Dreams

My father tells me that even though the sky is the limit, I have also scaled that. Therefore, I would like to tell all the girls and boys out there, "when everything seems to be going against you, remember that the aeroplane takes off against the wind, not with it". No matter how many hurdles you face in life, never give up on your dreams because, in the end, everything will pay off for you. My father is my biggest inspiration since he has taught me that one could achieve anything they wanted with a positive self-belief and approach.

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Editor : Ankita Singh
Creatives : Ratika Rana

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