Flight of Fantasy
"Posted by Shaping Lives travel desk - February 2011"
"What can be more fascinating to a child than to be a traveler in that same aeroplane, which oft takes him on his 'flights of fantasy' every time he gazes at one in the sky."
Le Passage Travel Foundation was formally launched in December 2010. One of our prominent NGO partners from Jaipur - Umang, working with special children afflicted with cerebral palsy, autism and other cerebral disorders, had once mentioned the joy of travel as being a unique experience for such disadvantaged children. Umang wanted our help, because we are a reputed destination management company in India and whether it was possible for us to make the dream of air travel transform into a reality for the children they supported through their selfless work.
We were extremely proud to have realized this dream of Umang come true on behalf of the exhaustive work done by the Le Passage Foundation. We had undertaken three flights of fantasy with 50 children on each over Feb 2011. Every affiliated NGO from Delhi and Jaipur dealing with special children was given a fair share of seats on these flights. The clubbing of NGOs was done such that it allowed special and normal children to experience the outing together, thereby encouraging friendship, sensitization to each other, mutual acceptance of limitations and talents, and a long term bonding.
The sightseeing at Delhi included historical monuments like India Gate, Qutub Minar, Nehru Museum, Purana Qila, while the educative and interactive visits were undertaken to the Rashtrapati Bhavan (President's residence), where these children were treated as special guests. In addition, they were also taken to Nehru Planetarium, National Science Centre and the Rail Museum. The Jaipur itinerary was designed to cover Albert Hall, Hawa Mahal, Jaipur Zoo and an exclusive evening with the members of the Indian Army stationed at Jaipur.
The children were simply ecstatic on this trip. To all of them, it was "A lifetime experience". Not only did they soar high, but they did it with confidence and elan. Whether it was during the flight, or during sightseeing, everything resulted in a feeling of positivity and hope for a better life in the future. They saw the unknown, conquered it and made new friends in the process. We are sure that this has left an indelible impression in their minds that would last for time immemorial.
For all of us, it was a sense of satisfaction and elevated joy to see these children smile to their hearts content, keeping aside their sorrows and pains. All our partners have been equally magnanimous and were always willing to walk the extra mile when it came to creating bridges of opportunities in this wonderful social initiative. It was a great learning experience for all of us, and instilled in our minds that now we are ready to be the 'bridge' between our travel partners and our NGOs who have always extended their hands in our support.
To conclude, the three 'flights of fantasy' have been truly magical experiences for everyone involved, be it Shaping Lives ' the prime organizer, the partnering NGOs and all our participating children. Our attempt to be a bridge and secure willing cooperation from other travel partners in the Foundation's social goals has been successful. We have gained the confidence and experience of undertaking more such, and even higher, partnership initiatives in future.
Together we have made it happen!
I could not believe my ears, when our teacher told us that we are going to Jaipur by plane, I thought he was joking. I asked again 'how are we going' and he said 'plane'. After that I was so thrilled that I just couldn't stop dancing and singing. And I aited anxiously for this day since then.
Posted by : Student, Disha Foundation, February 2011
Thank you for organizing the most exciting excursion 'Flight of Fantasy' for the special children of Disha. The children have come back with so much joy and excitement which seems to know no limits. This trip is going to mean a lot in their lives and apart from the enjoyment, will add abundantly to their knowledge and confidence level. We highly appreciate the compassion that you have towards the special children and by translating it into the beautiful and exciting events like polo match and fantasy flight.
Posted by : Disha NGO, February 2011
The children were so enamoured by your love and affection that they have accepted you as a part of their large Umang family.
Posted by : Umang NGO, March 2011