Debasish Banerjee: The man who flew his Aircraft from US to Ranchi and all for a promise

It was in 1983, when Dr Banerjee promised his mother, who was suffering from breast cancer that he will return to Ranchi one day in his own plane

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DrDebasish Banerjee Image Source: Indiatoday.in
  • Banerjee travelled from the US to Ranchi only to keep his promise he made to his mother 33 years back
  • It took whopping Rs. 35 lakh, three years of struggle to work out the permissions for him to fly to Ranchi
  • Banerjee also flew his beloved Rebecca, his aircraft with an aim to spread awareness about diabetes

While every day we encounter people who are too used to break their promise, it is heart-warming to know someone who readily travels that extra mile and too literally, just to keep a promise, he made 33 years back.

The ride from the US to Ranchi wasn’t an easy one for Professor Debasish Banerjee.  He took off from Macon County airport in Franklin, North Carolina, on May 31 on his plane and reached Hyderabad on June 23, flying through Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Scotland, England, France, Italy, Greece, Jordan, UAE and Oman.

It was in 1983 when Dr Banerjee promised his mother, who was suffering from breast cancer that he will return to Ranchi one day in his own plane.

India Today quoted as Banerjee saying, “I had told my mother, one day I will return in my own aircraft and you will be proud of your son and here I am, in my hometown after 33 years.”

Dr Banerjee with a photo of his deceased mother. Image Source: ndtv.com
Dr Banerjee with a photo of his deceased mother. Image Source: ndtv.com

Though that was the last time he spoke to his mother, yet the promise he made was etched in his heart even after three long decades.

It took whopping Rs. 35 lakh, three years of struggle to work out the permissions and tonnes of exhaustion from navigating the single-engine aircraft through 14 counties to keep up the promise.

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Talking about the problems faced during the journey, Banerjee detailed that while flying through the UK, his aircraft experienced malfunctioning in the magnetos and vertical trim tab and also got its left wheel pant damaged.

The 65-year-old professor got his flying licence in 2005 and allowing him to spend the next few years undertaking smaller solo missions whenever time permitted.

Apart from the urge to keep his promise, Banerjee also flew his beloved Rebecca (as he calls his aircraft) with an aim to spread awareness about diabetes.

His aircraft – Cessna 182 – had the words ‘raising awareness of diabetes’ painted on the tail, throughout his long journey.

Talking about the problems faced during the journey, Banerjee detailed that while flying through the UK, his aircraft experienced malfunctioning in the magnetos and vertical trim tab and also got its left wheel pant damaged.

Banerjee at KC Roy Memorial Hospital in Ranchi said to India Today, “I felt that people can lead a better life by controlling their blood sugar and thus I decided to make them aware in whatever way I can,” quoted The Telegraph.

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He further said, “I am an adventurous person but this one is really a big challenge with my present aircraft,” and added that he had fitted an additional fuel tank for the journey across oceans.

After staying for three days in Ranchi, Banerjee flew to Calcutta on July 2, resuming his flight path back to the USA through Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines and Japan.

Banerjee graduated from St Xavier’s College and later learnt flying after he shifted to the USA.

-This article is modified by Bulbul Sharma, a staff-writer at NewsGram.

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  • Aparna Gupta

    This shows that he is a truly Indian. Indian worship their mothers as God and he fulfilled the promise made to his mother.