The dreams of Anupriya Lakra, a 23-year-old girl from Maoist-hit Malkangiri district – one of the remotest corners of Odisha, becoming a pilot has become a reality seven years after she quit engineering studies midway and joined an aviation academy in 2012. Lakra, who hails from the tribal-dominated district, is all set to join a private airline as a co-pilot.
Daughter of Mariniyas Lakra, a Havildar in Odisha Police and Jamaj Yashmin Lakra, a homemaker, Anupriya completed her matriculation from a convent in Malkangiri, a moist hit area and higher secondary from a school in Semiliguda.
Belonging to the Santal community, Anupriya is the eldest of three children. She had a passion for becoming a pilot and quit her engineering studies in Bhubaneswar midway to prepare for the pilot entrance test in Bhubaneswar.
“I am very proud of my daughter. Since childhood, she wanted to make it big in life and today she has succeeded in doing so. All the credit goes to her hard work and to her mother who stood by her through thick and thin,” Anupriaya’s father Mariniyas Lakra said.
In 2012, Anupriya joined the Pilot Training Institute in Bhubaneswar, he added. “We are very happy that her dream of becoming a pilot has now become a reality. She will be working as a co-pilot in a private airline,” Mariniyas said.
She has been selected as a co-pilot in a private airline and is likely to fly abroad shortly. “It is a big achievement for somebody from a backward district like Malkangiri. Her success has come after seven years of hard work,” he said.
Jubilant over Anupriya’s success, her mother said “I am very happy. It is a matter of pride for the people of Malkangiri. Her success will inspire other girls.” Anupriya was always encouraged to make efforts to translate her dreams into reality, her mother said.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has also congratulated Lakra for the rare feat achieved through dedication and grit and said it will set an example for others to emulate.
The success story of Anupriya Lakra is one among those many such inspiring stories, especially coming from those Maoist-affected tribals areas. Following the Modi government successive fight against the menace of the ‘Left-wing-terror’, there has been a considerable improvement in the lives and aspirations of the tribal people, which is being reflected through success stories like Anupriya Lakra.
Many youngsters, especially girls are aspiring to come out in the open to pursue their passion, without giving any credence to the left-wing terrorists anymore, who otherwise controlled thoughts, the actions of these deprived tribals in the past.
In a bid to eradicate the radicalization of the young people, who are often the targets of the Left-wing terror groups, the governments and security forces with effective state-based interventions, are keen to utilize the energy of the youngsters into a positive outcome.
Last year, in Kondagoan of Chhattisgarh, amidst of all the violence, girls have picked up hockey sticks to fight the left-wing terror in the state. Apart from building a girls hockey team, ITBP has also started to train girls, to build the first girls football team in the Bastar region of Chattisgarh.
The security forces, along with state government have also devised rehabilitation initiatives so that the Naxals can give up guns and join the mainstream without any violence. This approach is considered to be one of the successful initiatives of the government, as many Naxals have come out of the camps and is part of the social life now.
The government has also backed up this with the massive financial outlay for developing the basic infrastructure like roads, railways, schools, electricity in the region. Access to technology and mobile network has brought major changes in the region, as it has brought success in providing health care and educational benefits and has helped the locals to take advantage of government schemes to enhance their livelihood opportunities.
Addition to that, the security forces have carried out extensive and targeted operations in the strongholds of the Naxals and have succeeded in eliminating the terrorists.
Recently, few Naxals had surrendered before the security forces, after security forces gunned down eight Naxals in forests of Timinar and Pusnar during Anti-Naxal operation, along Dantewada-Bijapur border. In a major breakthrough for the internal security of India, Pahad Singh, the senior leader of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) who had Rs.1 crore bounty had surrendered to the Chattisgarh Police the last year.
The Left-wing terror is on the verge of extinction in the country has been trying extremely hard to survive with often using terror to keep their grip on the tribal areas. But it seems, the tribal people who were earlier manipulated to be sympathetic to their cause are now deserting them for better lives.