The senior citizens boarded their first flight, to Chennai from Coimbatore, thanks to M Ravikumar and his friend, who made their dream come true.
There is a saying that goes, ‘All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.’
Well, for 44-year-old M Ravikumar, a businessman from a small village in Tamil Nadu, that meant fulfilling the dream of his villagers.
Ravikumar and his friend pooled in Rs 4 lakh each and booked flight tickets from Coimbatore to Chennai for 120 senior citizens of Devarayanapalayam village in Tamil Nadu.
Speaking about this, 102-year-old Kuppathaal said she boarded a flight for the first time in her life. Apart from her, there were 119 other senior citizens from the village who also flew for the first time last month.
Ravikumar said that most of the people in his village had never gone beyond Coimbatore.
Speaking to New Indian Express, he said,
It was their long-time dream of travelling on a plane, and so I took the names of the villagers who could take a flight. With the help of a few friends, I raised the amount for their travel.
Among the 120 members, most were women who had worked in the textile industry. On the way back to the village by bus, the senior citizens were also taken to many temples and a mosque at Kancheepuram, Tiruvannamalai, and Vellore, reports NDTV.
Speaking about her first flight, 57-year-old G Valliammal said,
I never imagined I'd travel by a plane in my lifetime. Most of us have not even travelled by a train.
Sixty-three-year-old Saraswathi said,
For years, I've been only looking at the sky whenever a plane passed by. This will be an unforgettable memory for me.
It was Ravikumar's desire to take his fellow villagers on the plane after he first flew to Kolkata for a business visit five years ago. Since then, with every flight Ravikumar boarded, his idea just became more and more concrete.
"My late father was so fond of the village people, and he had done a lot for them. I wanted to take the legacy forward,” he said.