December 2006 News

IAF Helps 300 Children Realise 'dream' In Uri

28 December 2006
The Times of India

Isham: Students of this hamlet in the inaccessible Uri sector of the Jammu and Kashmir state had cheerfully sung the 'Dream, dream...' song along with President A P J Adbul Kalam, in November 2005, just a month after a devastating quake had hit the state, killing hundreds. Over a year later, the students of this hamlet will have their dream come true. And the IAF is instrumental in making the dream a reality. A 16-room high school has now come up in the hamlet to provide education to around 300 students. Not just at Isham, students from nine villages near Urusa, the base for the quake relief operations of the IAF, will get to visit a school and get educated now, with quake-proof buildings constructed in Mardanpatti, Khalsapatti 'A', Khalsapatti 'B', Chakra, Batakote, Moripatti and Dharapatti. 'The IAF has spent over Rs 30 crore to ensure that all the relief works in the villages are completed,' says Air Chief Marshal S P Tyagi, who declared the school at Isham open on Thursday. The IAF chief has a tale to narrate on how, the IAF, which has no presence anywhere near Urusa, came about adopting the nine villages. It was on October 8 last year, when the IAF was celebrating its 74th Air Force Day, that the nature unleashed its fury in the form of a quake that shook this part of the country. At the IAF celebrations, Western Air Command Air Officer Commanding-in- Chief, Air Marshal A K Singh, informed Tyagi about the devastation. Immediately, the orders to airlift relief material were issued, but after about a week or so, the IAF decided to adopt the villages for relief and rehabilitation. Apart from the schools, the IAF also built community centres and set up five mini hydel plants, with 5- KVA capacity each, to cater to the villages. To those who could not be covered by the hydel power project, solar lights were provided.


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