These kids' dream takes wing

Flying high

Before they took off... Actor Ramya with differently abled and underprivileged children inside a Jet Airways aircraft at the Bengaluru International Airport on Friday. DH photo

On Friday, James and more than 50 other underprivileged and differently abled children took the Bangalore-Bangalore 100-mile flight in what was their first-ever flying experience.

The children, most of them dressed in school uniforms, were picked through a specially designed painting competition to mark 100 years of Indian civil aviation.

The icing on the cake, however, was the presence of Kannada film actress Ramya. James says he couldn’t have asked for more.

“It was the most pleasant surprise of my life. Never did I imagine that my childhood dream of flying in an aircraft would be realised in such a befitting manner,” he told Deccan Herald.

James, who recently appeared for I PUC examination, had drawn an old model airplane on a cardboard sheet to get selected for this sojourn. He has been adopted by Morning Star Children’s Home, a non-profit organisation.

James aspires to fly an aircraft one day. Unable to resist the temptation to go inside the cockpit, he quickly made his way towards the flight deck. He, however, found the whole system “rather complicated”.

“At first, my long-time dream appeared improbable. But the crew encouraged me and patiently answered my queries,” he added. Now, he’s much more eager to realise his ambition. 

Chandana, a student of Hegganahalli Government Higher Primary School, thought she would only see the planes taking off and landing, from her school.

But after the “jolly flight” on board the 9W 8005 aircraft, she is desperate to get back home and share the experience with the entire village.

“Flying in one of those airplanes was a dream I thought might never come true,” she said.

More than 1,000 children aged 6 to 14 from schools and NGOs around Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) had taken part in the competition organised by the BIAL and the Jet Airways. The one-hour flight that took off at 1.20 pm took the children to Mysore, but it didn’t land in the City of Palaces.

Ramya, who till Thursday was embroiled in a bitter rift with A Ganesh, producer of her upcoming film Dandam Dashagunam, appeared calm in the company of children. She cheered and regaled them with her mannerisms, tickling their funny bones with her one-liners.

The little passengers were also treated to on-flight snacks that included lip-smacking sandwiches, scrumptious biscuits, and flavoursome chocolates.  Well, the little stars wished they had more of this once-in-a-lifetime sojourn in the sky.

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