As many as 44 'Divyang' (differently abled) children from across Odisha experienced the joy of flying high aboard a special flight from Bhubaneswar on Wednesday.
They enjoyed their first flight experience when they boarded an Alliance Air flight at Biju Patnaik International Airport here. The flight over Bhubaneswar air space lasted around 40 minutes.
The dream of these kids was fulfilled by Alliance Air in collaboration with the state Department of Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SSEPD), Civil Aviation Ministry and Swabhiman NGO.
"It was exciting and thrilling. I am really happy to have boarded the special flight for the first time," said an elated 'divyang' flyer.
"We are encouraging the special children, who are also underprivileged, for higher aspirations and dream big. I am pleased that the unprivileged children experienced flight ride for the first time," said Sruti Mohapatra, chief executive of Swabhiman NGO.
"Your wings already exists, all you have to do is fly! Thank Hon. PM Shri @narendramodi and Shri @HardeepSPuri for giving wings to the dreams of specially abled children from Odisha. The happiness of these children on boarding their maiden flight is really a fulfilling sight," tweeted Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
State SSEPD Minister Ashok Panda, Union Civil Aviation Joint Secretary Usha Padhee and Odia film stars Akash Dasnayak and Sabyasachi Mishra were present at the airport to see off the children.