Amidst the ever present tension and conflict and undercurrents of mutual suspicion and cynicism, the Indian Army has yet again made its bid to reach out to the community by funding the education of the underprivileged children of the remote areas of the beleaguered valley. Army Commander, Northern Command, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh presented the financial aid of 1.45 Cr. to 71 selected students from the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category and remote areas of Jammu and Kashmir at a function.
It is notable that the Indian Army has been aiding the underprivileged children of Jammu and Kashmir since 1998. This aid was conceptualized with the objective of mainstreaming the children of the valley by making them acquainted with the national culture and history to make them appreciate the diversity of the country better.
The financial aid is provided under the initiative named ‘Operation Sadbhavana'. Scholarships that amount to Rs. 1.45 Cr. are provided to the underprivileged children.
A total of 76 children are provided with the scholarships. This includes 45 students of the Army Public School, Beas, and 26 for Drona Boys Hostel, Udhampur. The students were handed scholarship certificates and cheques at a function. The scholarship covers the overall expenditure of education including the school fee, boarding, lodging and transportation.
The scholarship provided under Operation Sadbhavana is directed at the upliftment of the population affected by the conflict that has been raging in the valley for last 4 decades and has intensified in the last decade. Such initiatives are acknowledged as an important component of the military-civic effort being made to integrate the population and remove the sentiment of alienation prevalent in the minds of the youth.
Children from the poor families are the main beneficiaries
"The idea of sponsoring education of these students at the Army Public School, Beas, and Drona Boys Hostel has many benefits. The students not only get the best of education at par with any premier education institute in the country, but also get an opportunity to get to know the diverse culture of this great nation," PRO Lt Gen Singh said.
The alumni of the schools were also facilitated at the function. One of the alumni is serving as a Lt. Commander in the Indian Navy and one has joined the J&K state police.
Students appreciate the initiative
The students of the APS, Beas, and Drona Boys Hostel, Udhampur, expressed their gratitude towards the Indian Army.
Adeb-Ul-Islam, a Class 11 student of APS Beas hailing from Pahalgam, Kashmir said that her experience at the school has given her a new perspective in life. She expressed her ambition by saying that she wants join the Indian Army as a doctor.
Master Suhail, a Class 10th student of expressed his gratitude to the Indian Army for sponsoring his entire education. Suhail hails from Poonch.
The fact that civic initiative of military are significant for the objective of bringing normalcy to the valley was appreciated by the ones in attendance.
Till date the Indian Army has donated an amount of 40 Cr. under various activities launched under Sadbhavana out of which 20 Cr. has been spent on the education related activities that include the running of Army Goodwill schools and scholarships.
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