From A ₹1 Per Day Income To A Padma Shri Nominee, Read The Extremely Inspiring Story Of Captain AD Manek!

Amrut Manek was born to a family so struck in poverty that no one in his seven generations had ever got the chance to go to school and get education. His childhood was spent toiling around as a farm labourer but he had the will to fight this abject poverty, get educated and do something special for himself and for his family. Today, at the age of 57, Amrut Manek is Captain AD Manek, a celebrated aviation instructor. This year, he has been nominated for the Padma Shri award by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs for his contribution to the field of aviation.

Captain Manek has proven to be an inspiration and has put across the message that nothing is impossible if you have the will to achieve your ambitions.

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The journey to success 

“One day, while working in the field, I saw an aeroplane and instantly decided to enter the field of aviation,” said Manek in an interview with TOI.

Manek’s father had taken up a job as a peon in a private school in Mumbai. Manek had been working in the field for 6 years, barely making any earnings. He decided to shift to Mumbai with his father. They lived in a 10*12 room in a slum in Malad and Manek got a job as a labourer in a plastic rings’ factory. Gradually, he could meet his education expenses and he joined Siddhartha College of Commerce. His dream to enter the aviation industry was refuelled when he read a book about a young pilot named Charles Lindberge.

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Manek joined the NCC’s armoured wing in college and won the best cadet of Maharashtra title in 1983. Slowly, things started to fall in place for him as a businessman from Surat, who was happy to hear about the young boy’s dreams, gave him ₹5000, through which Manek got enrolled in Gurajat Fyling Club, Vadodara. He earned a Student Pilot License and a Private Pilot License in 1985.

Giving others an opportunity 

Once Manek could get trained himself, he thought that it is important that many others like him also get the opportunity. Hence, using government schemes and after taking loans from bank, he set up the first aviation school, Skyline Aviation Club, in 1987 in Mumbai. The main aim was to help SC, ST and other backward class students to get a chance to realise their flying dreams.

Even after setting up the aviation club, Manek was facing a lot of financial issues. He wanted to expand but he did not get any support. Finally, he approached the then CM of Gujarat, Amarsingh Chaudhary, who agreed to help him. Manek got a loan of ₹1,77,792 and he flew to the US for commercial pilot license training. He returned in 1990 to start his full-fledged aviation school.

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Today, Captain AD Manek has trained around 4200 pilots and aviation experts in the last three decades. He operates aviation training from a 3,000 sq foot property in Borivili, practical training of helicopters at Juhu airport and big crafts at Aligarh. He also follows a beautiful tradition. He has constructed a temple in Bardoli town and flies a helicopter over it and showers flower petals every year.

Captain Amrut Manek’s story is one of passion, dedication and commitment to one’s life goals. He has totally justified his nomination for the prestigious Padma Shri award.


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