Orphaned children’s memorable day in an aeroplane

By S Lalitha, Express News Service
BENGALURU: “It was a wonderful surprise for us. I really did not expect to actually get inside an aircraft. I even got to sit on the pilot’s seat,” says an excited Prem Kumar after being taken to the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) and being allowed to board a flight this week.
Kumar is among 49 other children of ‘New Home’, an orphanage in Buddigere, who got to see the inside of an aeroplane on Tuesday. Between the ages of 4 to 18, those taken on the outing comprised 25 girls and 25 boys raised at the orphanage, run by NGO Reaching Hands.
Though the stringent security clearances meant the aircraft could not take off, nevertheless it was a rare experience for them. Prem, a II PUC student at HMR PU College, aspires to become a chartered accountant. “I have always wanted to fly one day. I learned how the inside of a plane really looks like only today,” he said.
The ‘Santa Claus’ who handed around chocolates and badges to all on board was something he loved, along with the samosas, GulabJamuns, cakes, kachoris and juices they were treated to inside the airport later. “I am waiting for my college to reopen to share this unique experience with my classmates,” said Prem.
Nine-year-old S Bindu, who studies at Light House Academy International School, says, “It was such a new experience for us. It is the first time I stepped into a plane and sat on the front seat!”
Chaitra H recalls being taken inside the airport when she was 7-years-old. “It was very exciting and I am really very happy whenever I think of it.”
Co-ordinator of New Home P V Santhosh said, “We merely told them we will go near the airport. Entry inside the flight was not disclosed to anyone. It was such a joy to see delight on their faces.”
A representative of the airline said as part of their CSR activities they had visited the orphanage on May 23. “When interacting with them, a few said they wanted to become pilots or crew on board. So, we decided to surprise them with this trip after taking all necessary clearances. With Tuesday afternoon shut down for maintenance every week, we decided to use this time for the kids,” he said.

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