We,the students & staff of Sainik School,Bijapur wish you all the best.
Captain Gopinath
Gorur House
No. 32, Vittal Mallya Road
Behind Shell Petrol pump, Bangalore
Phone: 080 4211 0351

Friday, April 17, 2009

I was born in a small village called Gorur in Hassan district of Karnataka. My father was a poor school teacher and a farmer as well. I went to a Kannada-medium school till Class V after which I was selected at the Sainik School in Bijapur which had just been set up to cater to students in Karnataka. Incidentally, I failed the first time I appeared for the entrance exam as the paper was in English of which I did not know a word. My headmaster, however, was a very determined man and he wrote to the defence ministry asking them how they hoped to recruit boys from villages in South India if the paper was held in English and not in their mother tongue. I was able to appear again for the exam, this time in Kannada and that's how I got selected.

After completing school, I got selected to the NDA (National Defence Academy) and went on to be commissioned in the Indian Army where I spent the next eight years and fought in the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation war. I quit the Army to come back to my village and take up farming. I got into sericulture and eco-farming. Later, I set up Deccan Charter, India's first private helicopter charter company which was followed by India's first low-cost airline Air Deccan. My dream was to have an inclusive India with equitable growth for which connectivity was crucial.

I have been involved in different enterprises, in different fields and have managed to build meaningful businesses which contributed to nation-building. Over the past two decades, I have been a critic of several Government policies and systems and have worked with successive Governments on policy for reforms and progressive measures, particularly in the aviation sector.

I believe that India today is crying out for change, a change from divisive party politics steeped in communal and caste votes which has made corruption and ill-governance a way of life in this country. Some of the key issues that made me decide were the Mumbai terror attacks where we appeared to be a failed state, with a bunch of terrorists taking over our very lives. Another was the pub attack in Karnataka and the moral policing goons who want to decide how the women in this country should dress or behave! The sight of women being insulted, with all of us watching, shook me from my reverie. The need of the hour is in believing that you can make a change and not watch from the outside and criticise. If we want a safe future for us and our future generations, we have to stop this degeneration that is taking place in our public life.

I am convinced that today our greatest need is to rid society of communalism and casteism; eradicate corruption and bring in good governance for development and fulfill the ideals on which this nation was formed. I want to make a political and developmental platform which will represent all communities and all religions. I want to drive my vision for India, for Karnataka and for Bangalore on a foundation which has two wheels of change - social harmony and good governance. These are the two pillars of a strong nation. Right governance will not only ensure communal harmony but also the right policies and systems which support the economy and citizens without having to resort to bribes and sycophancy. The opportunity for a happier future for us lies in getting these very fundamentals of our social fabric right.
(Extract from IBNLive » Blogs)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaCaptain G. R. Gopinath (Kannada: ಗೋರೂರು ಗೋಪಿನಾಥ ), the Managing Director of Air Deccan is a graduate of the National Defence Academy and has served the Indian Army. He is considered the father of low cost air travel in India. He created a whole new market when he launched India's first low cost airline, Air Deccan.

Capt G R Gopinath or Gorur Ramaswamy Iyengar Gopinath or 'Gopi' as he is affectionately called was born in a Hassan Iyengar family of the remote village of Gorur, Karnataka. Starting his studies in a village school, he completed his further schooling at Sainik School, Bijapur. Thereafter he joined the distinguished National Defence Academy and later graduated from the Indian Military Academy as a commissioned officer in the Indian Army. He then went on to serve the Army for eight years.
Sometime in 1995, the Govt. of India started the reforms process by encouraging entrepreneurship. This inspired the entrepreneur in him to identify the tremendous potential Helicopter Charter had in India. Along with an old Army friend he decided to start a private sector commercial helicopter service in 1996. Starting with just one helicopter, today Deccan Aviation boasts of 10 (Ten) Helicopters and two charter jets operating from eight major locations criss-crossing the entire length of the country. This company is India’s most reputed private Air Charter Company with a presence now in Srilanka also.
Understanding the needs of this segment, Capt Gopinath decided to start the first Low Cost, No Frills Airline of India. Launched on 25 August 2003, Air Deccan revolutionized air travel in India. With a vision to connect hitherto unconnected parts of India, Air Deccan today connects many remote parts of the country where no other airline had operated. The airline is operating close to 236 flights a day connecting 55 destinations. As part of its expansion plans, the airline has signed for 60 brand new Airbus and 32 ATRs. As a result a total of 80 aircraft will be acquired with one aircraft being inducted every month for the next 80 months. Not one to be effected by the instant success and recognition Capt Gopinath still remains the affable and easily approachable person that he always was, relentlessly pursuing his dream of enabling every Indian to Fly.

The French government has bestowed the award of Chevalier de la legion d’Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour) on Capt G.R Gopinath, Chairman, Air Deccan. The award is a recognition of Capt. Gopinath’s contribution to the development of Indo-French cooperation in the field of aviation.
The award was conferred upon Capt. Gopinath by H.E the French Ambassador, Mr Dominique GIRARD on Saturday 28 April 2007 at the Alliance Française de Bangalore
Recipient of several awards such as the ‘Rajyotsava Award’ by the Government of Karnataka, ‘Personality of the Decade Award’ instituted by KG Foundation , ‘Editors Choice Award’ by the Indian Express Trade and Tourism Awards and “Sir M Visvesvaraya Memorial Award” by the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Capt. Gopinath is hailed to have revolutionized air travel in India .
He currently lives in Bangalore with his wife and 2 daughters, Pallavi and Krithika.