Lakshmi Baldania, Gujarat’s first female drone pilot who has been trained and certified by the Sanskardham Drone Academy.
In a largely male-dominated field, she has carved out a niche for herself in the rapidly expanding, cutting-edge technology field of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Lakshmi is a housewife and a graduate in commerce from the town of Adipur in Gujarat’s Kutch district, which is known around the world for its “white desert.” She has had a fascination with flying planes since she was a child. Her husband is a salt and agriculture farmer in the Adipur district, so she wanted to learn new techniques to help him run a profitable business.
Lakshmi plans to use her drone flying skills to conduct aerial surveillance of her husband’s salt pans and agriculture fields in Adipur now that she is a trained and certified drone pilot from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) approved Sanskardham Drone Academy in Gujarat.
“Lakshmi describes the UAV industry as “an industry where women are a rare species,” but she adds that things are “not that bad.” The need is to encourage more girls and women to pursue STEM careers by highlighting success stories that break down gender barriers.
“I am very happy to become a certified drone pilot,” she said, explaining why she enrolled in the course. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at this year’s Drone Festival inspired me. Following the Prime Minister’s speech, I decided to become a drone pilot. Moving in that direction, I completed a course at Sanskardham Drone Academy. After completing this course, I plan to pursue a career as a trained drone pilot while also assisting my husband in his business, as he has always encouraged me to become a certified drone pilot.”