By Sujit Chakraborty
Agartala, Dec 24 (IANS) He dared to dream and achieved it with flying colours.
Tripura lad Arunabha Chakraborty, 21, has not only become the first flying officer from the northeastern state, but has also outshined his peers to bag the Sword of Honour and President’s Plaque awards for standing first in the pilots’ course at the Air Force Academy in Dundigal, Hyderabad.
“Since my childhood, I had a dream to be a pilot. Today, I achieved it. I also feel that anyone from Tripura can try and achieve this feat. Boys and girls of my age shouldn’t only aim to become a doctor or an engineer… Aspiration must be skyhigh,” Chakraborty told IANS over phone from Hyderabad.
After completing Class XII from the government-run Sishu Bihar School in Agartala, Chakraborty got admitted to the Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC) in Dehradun before joining the National Defence Academy (NDA) in Pune.
“I completed the pilots’ course at the Air Force Academy in Dundigal in batch no. 204. Now I have 130 hours of flying experience. I am expected to steer hawk fighter jet initially.
“Not only Jaguar and Sukhoi, I would like to fly Rafale fighter jets or even more critical aircraft in any hostile situation. I always wanted to serve the nation as an armed force officer and now I have got the opportunity to do so. I will definitely give my best,” he said.
Chakraborty’s father Jagabandhu Chakraborty is an engineer, while his mother Alaka Bhattacharya is a homemaker. His sister Anirmita Chakraborty is an engineer currently working with a private firm in Hyderabad. Needless to say, they are all elated.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw my son’s shoulders decorated with Air Force stripes. As a child, he was fascinated by aeroplane and always dreamt of touching the skies,” Alaka Bhattacharya told IANS over phone.
On December 21, Chief of Air Staff Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria conferred the President’s Plaque and Sword of Honour to Chakraborty at a ceremony in Dundigal.