Not every one knows how to drive an auto rickshaw. On top of that if you claim that you know how to fly a plane, people aren’t really going to buy that. (Even Ranveer Singh’s character in Dil Dhadakne Do had to carry around his pilot license to prove the fact).
Unless, of course, you are Shrikant Pantawane. A n auto-driver from the bylanes of Nagpur, he is a pro when it comes to three-wheeled vehicles — be it an auto rickshaw or an aircraft!
According to India Times , Pantawane, started working early in life as a delivery boy. Son of a security guard, he later took the job of an auto-driver to support his family’s dwindling finances.
Make sure you catch the inspirational story of Shrikant Pantawane,auto driver turned pilot, in this month’s Hello 6E! pic.twitter.com/09nirwwa0D — IndiGo (@IndiGo6E) June 15, 2015
But hardships, obstacles and financial struggles never disheartened him from pursuing his dreams. With commitment, hard work determination and also a pinch of luck, Pantawane achieved what he had only dreamt of as a child.
Pantawane had once gone to the airport to deliver a parcel. During a conversation with cadets there, he learnt that one could also become a pilot even without being inducted in the Indian Air Force. A tea-seller outside the airport informed him about a pilot scholarship program. After this, there was no stopping him.
He wasted no time to start 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. He accepted the challenge and surpassed the language barrier.
Pantawane passed the examination with flying colours and got his commercial pilot license. But the global recession and a sluggish aviation market kept him at bay. He joined as an executive in a company to support himself and his family needs, but always kept hoping.
Two months ago, Pantawane received a call from IndiGo Airlines. The hard work has finally paid off and he is joining the company as a first officer.
Fly high, Pantawane!