7-13 July 2017 #866

“I’ll fly even higher”


Swechchha Raut in Pahilopost.com, 6 July

Flight attendant Pragya Maharjan survived the Goma Air crash in Lukla on 27 May and is in a hospital bed with a fractured right leg, palms and spine. But her willpower is intact, and she is determined to fly again.

She takes her inspiration of another flight attendant Vesna Vulovic, who was the sole survivor of a Yugoslav Airlines DC-9 crash in the Czech Republic in 1972. The plane plunged to the ground from 33,000 ft, and Vulovic was found in a coma. She died a natural death last year.

Pragya Maharjan says there is no reason for her to change her profession. “I met with an accident, why should I change my aim in life? I am lucky I got another life to accomplish many things, and I will fly even higher.”

The 24-year old is undergoing treatment at Grande International Hospital, where surgeons are still operating on her. She can’t walk yet, but the young woman already wants to fly.

The flight attendant was inspired by her friend’s sister, Mina Maharjan, to join the aviation sector. Mina herself was killed in the Nepal Airlines Twin Otter crash in Arghakhanchi in 2012.

“Mina encouraged me to become a flight attendant, she is still my role model,” says Maharjan from her hospital bed. As soon as Pragya completed her higher secondary education she took aviation training, and has been with Goma for the last two years.

Both Pilot Parash Kumar Rai and Co-pilot Shreejan Manandhar were killed in the crash of the cargo plane while landing at Tenzing Hillary Airport in Lukla in poor visibility. Maharjan was rescued and flown to Kathmandu a day after the crash.

Her parents are thankful she survived, and have given their full support to her future plans. Says father Ishwor Man Maharjan: “Life should be lived to the fullest. Death is fated. You could fall on the street and die.”

Read the original article in Nepali here