Tribal Entrepreneurs Working Near Adiyogi Become First Generation To Fly In Plane

It was a historic day for 41 tribal people as they went for their first-ever plane ride from Coimbatore to Chennai on Wednesday via IndiGo flight. The residents of villages near Coimbatore became their first generation to fly in an aircraft.

The first generation to fly in a plane

It was a historical day for 41 tribals near Coimbatore’s Isha Yoga Center as they went for their first-ever plane ride from Coimbatore to Chennai on July 20. Sponsored by Isha Outreach, the tribals from the villages of Madakadu, Mullankadu, Pattiyar Koil Pathiand Dhanikandi, became the first generation to fly in a plane.


The group was complimented at the airport by the IndiGo staff, with a special welcome announcement in Tamil onboard the flight operated by Captain Pradeep Balasubramanian. A special treat of snacks and beverages was served to the first-time fliers.

Vellachiamma, a tribal from Madakkad village, who sells coconuts near Adiyogi, deboarded her Indigo flight from Coimbatore to Chennai, her excitement was extraordinary. “We’ve only seen airplanes in TV and movies. So to now to fly in one is an amazing experience for me!”

“My wife has always wanted to fly, and we were saving up for a flight to Tirupati,” speaks Murthy, another tribal from Madakkad village. “But a Swami from Isha Outreach told us they were coordinating a group flight to Chennai. I was chasing up on a daily basis,” he adds with a grin. “I’m happy that my wife’s dream has come true.”



According to reports, all these tribals are forest-dwellers-turned-entrepreneurs. Their lives were transformed when the Adiyogi statue was unveiled in 2017. With the influx of tourists, the need for shopping, food, and beverage was quickly established, and the tribals rose to the occasion.

“This is only the beginning,” says Surya Kumar of Dhanikandi village, one of the tribals. “Adiyogi will attract more and more tourists with every passing year. Next year, there will be 100 villagers who will get onto an airplane. It’s on everybody’s wishlist.”

With backing from Isha Outreach and the guidance of Isha monks and volunteers, they were soon trained in all aspects of running stalls, shops, supplies, and logistics.