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Kalam wants national war memorial in Delhi

The President expressed this desire while inaugurating the Chandigarh war memorial in Chandigarh.

india Updated: Aug 17, 2006 17:42 IST

President APJ Abdul Kalam on Thursday said he would work for a national war memorial in the national capital to commemorate the soldiers who had laid down their lives for the country.

Addressing a gathering after inaugurating the Chandigarh war memorial in Chandigarh, Kalam regretted that no national memorial had been built after independence for soldiers who died for the country.

"Once I am back in Delhi, I will work for such a memorial there," he said.

Kalam dedicated the Chandigarh war memorial—which has a unique design created by two Chandigarh College of Architecture students and contains the names of 8,500 soldiers from northern states who laid down their lives for the country—to the nation.

The memorial has been set up by the Indian Express group and the Chandigarh administration at a cost of Rs. 7.8 million. The funds for the project were collected by the newspaper group through its citizen's initiative campaign.

The President said the people of India are known for their valour and it was essential that the country was saved from aggression—whether from land, air, sea or even space.

"We should also save our country from soft aggression to our technology and market forces," he said.

The concept for the memorial was laid out in April 2003 by the then Punjab governor JFR Jacob, a hero of the 1971 Bangladesh operation.

Instead of hiring professional architects for designing the projects, the Chandigarh administration organised a competition amongst architecture college students.

Of the 10 competing architects, designs from three were shortlisted. Finally, the plan put up by Nanki Singh and Shivani Guglani was accepted.

Both the design architects, however, were not present at the inaugural ceremony of the memorial in Chandigarh as they were out of the country. They were represented by their parents at the function.

First Published: Aug 17, 2006 17:42 IST