Captain Madhusmita Patnaik
Top 20 Most Inspirational Personalities Of Odisha 2020
Not all angels reside in heaven. Some exist on earth who carry you amid the stormy moments and protect you with their wings. Just like Captain Madhusmita Patnaik, who flew a special flight of AirArabia carrying 216 stranded Odias from Sharjah to Bhubaneswar on June 14, 2020. In a video, which later went viral on social media, she can be heard making announcements in Odia and wishing passengers on the occasion of Raja, a traditional agrarian Odia festival. The state’s first Woman Flight Commander had the onerous task of helping the Odias who were stranded in different parts of the Emirates owing to the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also lauded the efforts of Madhusmita Patnaik and her team for undertaking the mission during the times of COVID-19 pandemic. Social media was inundated with congratulatory messages for Madhusmita and some even went on to hail her as the ‘angel in disguise’ for the distressed overseas Odias.
Madhusmita hails from Berhampur. After completing her schooling from Sacred Heart Convent, Rayagada, she shifted her base to Bhubaneswar with her parents. From the very beginning, Madhusmita wanted to become a pilot. She would often watch airplanes in the skies and dreamt of flying one in the future. Her dreams took flight when she enrolled herself into the elite Odisha Flying Club. But lack of infrastructure, quality instructors and opportunities in India compelled her to move to Texas, US to acquire her commercial flying license. In just a few years she proved her credentials and she joined the Air Deccan in 2004 as a co-pilot. Since then there has been no looking back for her. She went on to work in Kingfisher Airlines and joined Go-Air as captain for 5 years before moving to Air Arabia. Now she is a Senior Commander in Air Arabia, UAE with over 15,000 flying hours under her belt.
Currently residing in Dubai, Madhusmita has mastered the ability to strike work-life balance as well. She derives her inspiration from her mother and father who are established doctors in Bhubaneswar. Her husband, an ex-army officer and now an entrepreneur has always stood by her like a pillar and supported her dreams throughout. Her son, now 17, too inspires her to do better in life.
Despite being in a male-dominated profession, Madhusmita has broken all stereotypes with her hard work, determination and focus. “You should believe in yourself first. Don’t think about society or your gender. You can do all those things that a man can do. Just be determined to achieve your goal. Work hard and leave everything else,” she proudly said.
Truly, Madhusmita has proved that if you are strong-willed and determined in life, no force on earth can stop you from fulfilling your dreams. The young minds will surely look up to her as inspiration. We salute the undaunting spirit of Madhusmita!
Written By Subhojit Panda
Image Source: Google