Getting a job in this day and age can be a gruelling experience. Not only is it tough to find job opportunities in your area of interest, it&’s tougher still to set yourself apart from the ever-increasing number of applicants. Frustrated by the lack of opportunities coming his way, Abdul Wajid of Muzaffarnagar district set out to gain an edge over the competition. His solution? To build a plane — from scratch!

After completing his schooling in Kaserva village, Wajid made his way to Delhi University to pursue graduation. It was during his days as an NCC cadet that he first developed a keen interest in aeronautics. He began to explore the world of aero-modelling during camps like the Vayu Sena camp organised by the group. He even went on to get a C-certificate from the NCC&’s Air Force Wing. He was also given an opportunity to train in aero-modelling at Safdarjung Airport in New Delhi, an experience that only cemented his love for aeronautics.

After graduation, Wajid began the dreaded job hunt and with every unsuccessful attempt his frustration only grew. Days turned to weeks, months and years. With no job in sight, his frustration gave way to anger and a fierce determination to prove his worth.

He set himself a daunting task: to channel his love for aeronautics into building a plane. Today, this 26-year-old is the proud creator of a one-metre long plane he built from scratch. It weighs around 350 kg and the wooden structure is supported by a sturdy steel frame. He&’s also powered it with a second-hand Maruti van engine he purchased from a scrap shop. The plane can sustain itself in the air for 10 km with a 25-litre fuel tank. Building it cost Wajid around Rs 5 lakh, a price his family, friends and generous villagers helped him bear.

“All I wanted to do was to show all those who have found me worthless what I can do. I do not want anything more. The day this plane makes its first sortie, I am sure the aviation industry will take note. Someone may employ me, train me further and utilise my services. At least the Uttar Pradesh chief minister might provide me some monetary assistance as he has done in several other cases in the past.”

Says village head Mohammad Akhlaq, “This will be a historic moment for the village. Earlier, we used to think it was some kind of a joke, but this boy actually made a small plane ready to fly. Now he has the support of the entire village.”

Wajid is currently waiting to get the requisite permission to fly his plane and is even planning to meet the Union civil aviation minister. “If I can construct an aircraft in a remote village of Uttar Pradesh, I can also secure permission to fly it,” he says with pride.

The Better India