Terror-hit Kashmiri kids get a feel of R-Day celebrations | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Terror-hit Kashmiri kids get a feel of R-Day celebrations

The ‘Operation’ was launched by the Army to win the hearts of people who are affected by terrorism and are living in such remote areas, reports Sidhartha Roy.

delhi Updated: Jan 27, 2008 01:24 IST
Sidhartha Roy

For Mohammed Altaf, a Class IX student of a government school in Rajouri, Jammu and Kashmir, the best thing about the Capital is the Delhi Metro. On Saturday, not only did he take his first Metro ride, it was his first journey in a train too.

Altaf is part of a group of 30 school children who have been brought on a visit by the Army as part of ‘Operation Sadbhavana’. The 13-day trip included visits to Amritsar, Wagah border and Delhi. They also saw the Republic Day celebrations in the morning.

The school children are from different government schools located in one of the remotest parts of Jammu and Kashmir in Rajouri. The ‘Operation’ was launched by the Army to win the hearts of people who are affected by terrorism and are living in such remote areas. Organising such visits is part of the operation.

“Everything here is so nice, I just loved Delhi. It is very different from where we live,” said Shabina Kouser, another student. “We should also have a Metro in Rajouri like you have here,” she said. “I hope we get a train access first. Trains now come up till Jammu and are immediately required,” said Meena Kumari, a teacher of the government school in Kalakass, Rajouri, who is one of the teachers accompanying the children.

“Where they stay, there is no electricity and all of them have first time crossed Jammu to see another place. They just loved the city with its big roads, buildings and illumination,” said a senior Army official of the 20 Rashtriya Rifles, which is organising the trip.

“The Republic Day parade was amazing. We liked the tanks and marches as much as the cultural programmes presented by school children,” said Sushma Kumari, another student from Kandi, Rajouri. And which was the best state tableux? “Jammu and Kashmir” –– everyone shouted in unison.

After a visit to the Capital, the school children are looking forward to the next leg of the trip –– Agra and Jaipur. “We are thankfully of the Army for giving us such an opportunity,” said Wali Mohammed, another teacher from Kandi.