SIRS Students Witness the Iconic Aircraft ‘DAKOTA’ as a part of the ongoing SAI Kaleidoscope 2023

Witnessing the heroics and bravery of Shri Biju Patnaik, more than 215 students of SAI International Residential School (SIRS), visited the renovated Douglas DC-3 ‘Dakota’ displayed at the Biju Patnaik International Airport on Saturday, March 11, 2023 as a part of the ongoing SAI Kaleidoscope 2023. Odisha's Chief Minister, Shri Naveen Patnaik unveiled the refurbished, reassembled & iconic Douglas DC-3 ‘Dakota’ aircraft for public viewing at the Bhubaneswar airport on Sunday, March 5, 2023, on occasion of 107th birth anniversary of the legendary leader & Former-Chief Minister, Shri Biju Patnaik.

Instilling the 21st century skills of social and cultural awareness, SAI International initiated the visit to the airport. SAIoneers with great zeal and enthusiasm went around the place, learning about the history of the most talked about aircraft and how Biju Patnaik had flown this aircraft to rescue former Indonesian Vice-President Mohammad Hatta and former Prime Minister Sutan Sjahrir.

Shri Biju Patnaik underwent training as a pilot at the Aeronautic Training Institute of India and Delhi Flying Club. Later he joined the Royal Indian Air Force in 1936, mostly flying supply and transport planes such as the ‘Dakota’. In the early 1940s, as Imperial Japan started moving eastwards and annexing Western colonies in southeast Asia, Shri Patnaik flew many sorties rescuing British officials and families from the Japanese advance. 

It was a great learning experience for the children of SIRS. Learning beyond classroom is a core experiential learning practiced by SAI International. The SAIoneers were enlightened about how the iconic ‘Dakota” resembles Odisha’s rich aviation history and is a befitting tribute to one of the most iconic personalities of Odisha.

I loved the Dakota aircraft, it inspires me to become a pilot and serve my nation”, said a young SAIoneer after the visit.

“We want our SAI children to learn through experience and get inspired by allowing them to witness the heritage of our state and nation to build an India as envisioned by great leaders of the past”, said Dr. Silpi Sahoo, Chairperson, SAI International.