NRI for MRI: On solo flight, Good Samaritan from US lands in Ambala
Wants to raise Rs 4.8 crore to donate MRI machine to Ambala hospital for cancer patients.punjab Updated: Jul 22, 2017 14:33 IST
An enthusiastic Rotary Club accorded a warm welcome to Ambala-origin US citizen Ravi K Bansal, 68, when his single-engine Cessna 400 landed at the local Indian Air Force station on Friday.
Bansal is the first Indian to fly solo over 25,000 miles after taking off from Buffalo in New York on July 4. Talking to mediapersons, Bansal said landing in Ambala was the most satisfying moment of his journey, as it was from here that he left for the US as a student in 1971.
Bansal is on a mission: Raise funds raise funds for terminally ill cancer patients in and around Ambala.
He wants to raise $750,000 (Rs 4.8 crore) to purchase a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine for the Rotary Cancer and General Hospital. It will be a tribute to his sister-in-law Sneh Bansal, who was instrumental in bringing him up. She died of cancer.
Bansal said his bond with India was intact all through 46 years, as his family was still based in Ambala and Kasauli. He said his mission was a humble contribution to the people of the land of his birth.
‘Will collect funds by next year’
After touching over 15 countries in the last 16 days, Bansal has been able to raise only $100,000 (Rs 65 lakh) as of now. “I am not disheartened and hope to accomplish the task during the remaining leg of my tour,” he said. “I will flying over 15 more countries in Asia and Europe besides the US and Canada.”
Bansal said he had sold his company for $170 million and was in touch with several US and India philanthropic agencies, and the amount will be collected by early next year. The Good Samaritan said he did not want any publicity for his feat but want publicity for the cause, which was very close to his heart. Bansal got his pilot licence in 1977 and had purchased his first plane in 1987. He bought the plane being used by him in 2006 and has spent over $100,000 from his own pocket.
Bansal’s wife Pratibha and elder brother Subhash Bansal were among the people who had gathered to receive him.