34 mentally challenged students travel to Kochi with excitement
There was excitement in the air; and one could see grinning faces of children and joy filled with a little bit of anxiety on the faces of their parents. The occasion was a maiden air trip for a set of 34 mentally challenged (special children) students.
Prior to their departure on the Air India Flight no: 9504 to Kochi on Monday from Madurai at the Madurai Airport, the special children of Bethsan Special School received their boarding passes from Dindigul Congress M.P., N. S. V. Sithan and S. Thangavelu, Rajya Sabha M.P., DMK,in the presence of Madurai Airport Director Sangaiah Pandian and Air India Station Manager Anil Kumar.
Gowtham and Rajarajan of Bethsan Special School, Madurai, were more than ecstatic about their first ever travel by flight. The former works as a salesman in the spares division at Kalyani Honda and the latter as an assistant in the Professional Couriers. Both said, “We have seen aeroplane on television and films and for the first time we are not only going to see the flight but are going to travel in the plane.”
And 17 -year-old, Mohammed Asif, was doubly delighted to be part of the trip as the occasion coincided with Ramzan celebrations. James Merlin too was overjoyed on the occasion and could not control her excitement.
A. Jeyapaul, coordinator, Bethshan School said that this effort was part of their curriculum. The students will be going for a sightseeing trip in Kochi on Tuesday and would return to Madurai the same night by train. The trip was to ensure that the students have a first-hand experience of travelling by air.
These kinds of outdoor experiences provide them a chance for socialization and also give the public a chance to develop an idea to receive and understand that they form an integral part of our society. Ravikumar, Principal, Bethshan Special School, pointed out that outdoor experiences has brought major changes in their behavioural aspects.
Mr. Sithan said that the travel experience would be a memorable one for these children and appreciated the authorities who arranged for this trip.
Mr. Anil Kumar said that it is for the first time such a trip has been arranged at Madurai Airport and being a national carrier Air India was able to provide tickets on concessional rates for the special children.
Air India staff would be facilitating the travel needs of the school children and they would also be receiving them at the Kochi airport.