Over 500 less-fortunate children from 22 cities across India came together to visit the Taj Mahal in Agra on September 27, World Tourism Day. For most of them, not only was this their first trip to the Taj Mahal but also their first time on an aeroplane.
Aged between 10 and 17, these children were taken on a two-day guided tour of the Taj Mahal and other monuments of Fatehpur Sikri that concluded on Thursday.
BookASmile — the charity initiative of one of India's largest online entertainment ticketing platforms, BookMyShow — extended support to NGP Round Table India's 'Flights of Fantasy' programme to give the children a travel experience they would cherish and remember forever.
BookASmile has always partnered with like-minded NGOs in unconventional spaces of social work and always believes in supporting the less fortunate with dreams, experiences, and life-skills. With the Flights of Fantasy initiative, BookASmile provided a fun learning experience for the underprivileged that they happily took home with them, a statement said.
Pinky Nutan Chaudhary from Jaipur, 15, who was a part of the tour, said, "I'm very happy to get the opportunity to visit the Taj Mahal. It's been a great experience and it's very beautiful. We also learnt a lot about the story behind why it was built. It was very interesting. I was also very excited about flying by plane! It was amazing."
Speaking about the initiative, Farzana Cama Balpande, Head of BookASmile, said: "At BookASmile, we love to give opportunities that people like you and I take for granted. While visiting historical monuments may seem like a regular affair for many school-going children, in reality not everyone is privy to such chances."
We truly believe that these experiences are not just educational but also critical for the overall personality development of children. We are absolutely delighted to have extended support to Round Table India to make this possible for over 500 children this year.
Commenting on the initiative, Round Table India President Christopher Arvind said: "We believe that education is the fundamental right of every human being. Education, when used effectively along with intelligence, has the power to ignite the world and certainly make it a better place to live. The best way to teach is through practical learning methods and this is what we have tried to achieve through Flights of Fantasy."
With inputs from IANS.