The Game Changer

Vasavi Reddy talks with You & I
From commercial pilot to educator... that’s some change.
Mine was not any easy road travelled. I had personal as well as professional reasons to make the change. My mother, who is my mentor, planted the seed when I came back from US. The transition was pretty smooth because she had been an educator all her life. Let’s not forget the lack of opportunities in the airline industry, which was one of the biggest reasons the change took place.
But why did you pursue aviation to begin with?
My dad was in the Indian Air Force, so I was always attracted by aircraft. When I was in class VII, I expressed to my parents that I wanted to become a pilot. I had to pass tenth to get there, so I joined the National Cadet Corps when I was in intermediate. I was the best female glider pilot in what was then Andhra Pradesh. I even stood fourth in the country at the national gliding competition held in Jaipur.
And now you’ve been running a school for almost 12 years. What’s that like?
When I started it, I was not very sure, but as the years passed by, the children’s simplicity, love and happiness were overwhelming, and I started to love being part of this field. The twinkle in the eyes of the students strengthened my will to be there for them, and made me work harder to learn more and give my best.
Tell us what changes you’ve noticed in the system.
Education in India has changed a lot. Parents are more awake and aware about the methodologies and infrastructure they would like their children to be in and around. I’m very happy, as the Montessori system we follow in my school works on all-round development. The elementary level is the latest achievement of our institution.
And what do you do?
I’m a jack of all trades at my school i.e. communication, publicity, seminars, events, maintenance, academics, sports, etc. Overall development of the school is my priority: conducting seminars with parents, auditoriums, and engaging child specialists.
You’re a mother yourself. How has that experience changed you?
Children bring a spark of happiness to your life. I feel that a woman is incomplete without a child. My daughter Akira is one and a half years old, and I have enjoyed and cherished all the milestones of her development, from turning and crawling to walking and now blabbering, as well as her first word: amma!
That sounds adorable!

Yes, by the grace of God, she is!
What’s the cutest thing she does?
There are so many that I can think of! But if I had to pick one, it’s when she says, “I love you, amma” in her soft, blabbering tone. It just melts the heart! She’s started giving us kisses when we’re just lying down, or especially when we get hurt. At just 22 months, she picks up our cups and leaves them in the kitchen as soon as we’ve finished drinking. She loves helping around at home, so she’s a part of laying the table and clearing it, not to forget dusting the house!
When she grows up, what do you expect of her?
I want her to have empathy and sympathy, to be a good human being who’s compassionate towards everyone and everything, and to use her freedom in the right way: from being forthright to taking her own decisions to following her heart.   

– as told to Anahita