This convention, the 100th anniversary of Rotary International Foundation is incredible. I have never seen anything like this before !
Yesterday’s opening ceremony, the parade of nations attending, rivaled the summer Olympics opening ceremony and the featured speaker was Rajshree Birla from India. While speaking she gave a $1,000,000 donation to Rotary and promised the same every year onward !
Today’s featured speaker was Bill Gates ( do I really need to explain who he is ???). Rotary Foundation really knows how to put up a show and get people riled up to serve humanity above self and for end polio now campaign! The auditorium was thumping like a Rolling Stones concert with 30-40000 people in the hall an hour before the start already !!
Bill Gates speech was very inspirational. Between the donations pledged by various governments and Bill Gates additional 300 million dollar pledged at the convention, they raised 1.2 Billion dollars today ! Rotary volunteers have eliminated polio from 99% of the world by now and they aim to eliminate the last 1% this year. This will be only the second time in the human history that a preventable disease has been eliminated. The first one was smallpox !
Flew into Atlanta yesterday with my elder brother Subhash to attend and promote my RTW Flight at Rotary International Convention ( June 10th-June 14th ) in Atlanta. WOW, there are 50,000 Rotarian attendees from every corner of the world. Bill Gates and Jack Nicklaus (the greatest Golfer of all Times) are the keynote speakers !!
Rotary Cancer Hospital Ambala has a booth here. The highlight of the day today was that Rajshree Birla, wife of the Birla family scion Aditya Birla visited our booth and spent half an hour listening to our Ambala project. Birla family is one of the biggest and most generous philanthropists of not only India but of the world. I hope they support our project !!!
Before embarking on my epic journey, I wanted to get my plane thoroughly checked out and annual maintenance done. Goodrich Aviation, my plane’s service center is located at Binghamton, NY airport. Doug Goodrich has taken care of my plane since the day I bought it 11 years ago. He is the best Aircraft mechanic I know and I have absolute trust in his work. Over the past four weeks, he not only performed all the annual required maintenance but also thoroughly checked out all of the mechanical systems of the plane. Fixed anything and everything (no matter how small) that needed fixing, After getting a clean bill of health from Doug, the plane is now ready to begin its journey.
However, me being a chicken of a pilot and just because I had lots of work done on my plane, I want to test it out more by flying it within USA first. So, I plan to fly it to Atlanta next week (to attend Rotary International convention) then to Alabama (to take my water ditching and survival training, required by my insurance company ) then to Florida to relax and play some Golf and back to Buffalo ( approximately 15 hours of flying time). That will be more than enough flying time to give me confidence that the plane is ready for starting my Round the world flight !
I picked the plane up from Binghamton today and flew it back to Buffalo with my older brother Subhash Bansal (he flew in from India last night to help me prepare and send me off on my Journey on 4th of July). Here are two pictures first one of Doug Goodrich and the other of myself and my brother with the plane !!
This is my first post. I am excited to start my round the world trip from Buffalo Niagara International Airport on July the 4th. I hope you continue to follow my flight/blogs from July 4th onward and support my cause.