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Drone pilot jobs provide the wind beneath their wings for four trans people

by Shailee Mishra

Date & Time: May 10, 2022 9:00 PM

Read Time: 2 minute

Sree, who only goes by one name, left her hometown in 2018 to pursue her dream of living as a trans woman. Her parents were not accepting of her as she was, or of the jobs she had taken to support herself earlier.

"However, when my parents learned that I was working for Dhaksha on the Anna University campus, they called and spoke with me, telling me that they were very proud of me."

It's not just a job for me; it's a new life," she says. Maya Sree, a Dhaksha Unmanned Systems drone pilot certified by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA),

Maya Sree, along with her classmates Pragya, Sai, and Rahmatullah, is the first transgender person to be appointed as a drone pilot in India.

They had to go through extensive training before being hired by the company, which uses drones for surveillance, agriculture, and defense. This job at DUMS provides them with a steady source of income and a respectable workplace, as well as a step toward providing dignity, security, and safety to transgender people.

Why drones?

"We all dreamed of flying in the sky since we were children, whenever we saw an airplane." I used to fantasies about being a bird. So today, I am proud to be a transwoman; to tell people that I am working on this prestigious Anna University campus, with a dignified ID card; and we are trying to get more and more people like us to join here," said Maya Sree, who graduated with honors.

Under the previous Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Rules regime, DUMS obtained the Remote Pilot Training Organization (RPTO) license in 2021, and they now train at the Centre for Aerospace Research (CASR) at Madras Institute of Technology, Anna University. The CASR RPTO is the official name of the RPTO. They've already trained 11 batches of pilots and will begin training for the 12th soon.

This was a joint initiative between us and Indian Oil, who wanted to do something unique with their CSR (corporate social responsibility) efforts. Our transgender team members were identified by a social service organisation called Bodhi Charitable Trust in Chennai, and it was a good opportunity to enroll them in our RPTO training. When we were training them, we believed they should have equal opportunities for finding work and sustaining their lives. So we reasoned, why not lead by example and absorb them? DUMS CEO Ramanathan Narayanan said, "We have already absorbed four people and will hire two more."

Also Read: Residents of this Indian city will soon have their groceries delivered by drones made in India

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