Monday, July 24, 2017

Rotarian Ravi to be the first Indian flying solo round-the-world on single-engine plane

Round the world for a cause

Rtn Ravi Bansal and his wife Dr Pratibha were shatered when they learnt the death of Ravi's brother Subhash's wife Sneh who was diagnosed of cancer in 1997.  Sneh had been a fighter and became a champion of cancer awareness movement reaching out to those diagnosed of cancer.

In the meanwhile Rotarians of Ambala Cantt, with the support of philanthropist family of Rtn. Jaidev Gupta, the foundation for Ambala Cancer Hospital was laid in a small room, which grew to become a 20-bedded diagnostic centres, and now a 100-bedded superspeciality hospital to provide treatment to the cancer patients.

"The moment I learnt that Rotary Ambala Cancer and General Hospital requires an expensive MRI machine costing USD 750,000, I decided to do my bit to help out," says Ravi, who having retired from his manufacturing business in USA, and decided to undertake this adventure in his solo flight on his single-engine Cessna 400.

"I decided to fly round the world to raise awareness about cancer and raise funds from Rotarians and other philanthropists from around the world through this flight," Ravi announced, recalling his family's concern.

"I am not interested in spreading the word about myself but about the whole cause of generating awareness about cancer, and to raise fund for the Rotary Ambala Cancer and General Hospital," he said.

Rtn Ravi Bansal would be the first solo Indian to complete round-the-world flight in single-engine aircraft which would be another record of sort, as he flies around the world to raise USD 750,000 to buy a sophisticated MRI machine for the hospital.

Ravi had been able to get nearly a million dollars in donations from people around the world, and people can reach him and donate online through his website, which incidentally also provides real-time tracking of his journey.

Past Rotary International President Raja Saboo met Rtn Ravi Bansal in the morning, along with past Rotary International Director Yash Pal Das, who is the co-chairman of the cancer hospital, and congratulated Ravi for his extraordinary adventure for a cause.

Several Rotarians at Ambala and in Chandigarh, besides members of the Inner Wheel handed over their contribution to the cause.

Ravi belongs to Ambala and migrated to USA in  1972 and maintains close ties with his brother, PP Rtn. Subhash Bansal, and other members of the family back home.
He took off from Buffalo in New York, USA on 4th July 2017 and has flown  9257 nautical miles (17,144 kilometres) in 55 hours of flying time, stopping over at Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Faroe Islands, England, France, Italy, Greece, Jordan, UAE, Oman, and touched down at Ahmedabad on 18th of July and touched down at Ambala Cantt Airforce station on 21st of July.

He commended the support of the Indian Air Force for having allowed him to land at Ambala Airforce Station.

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