Srinagar, Mar 1 (UNI) A group of 100 Kashmiri children returned here today after a 15-day countrywide educational tour -- Ehsaas -- organised by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to enable them to see the development in different parts of India.
The contingent of 80 children of Gujjar and Bakkerwal hostels and 20 from the Rahat Ghar, an orphanage run by the Delhi-based NGO Guild of Service, had left here on February 15.
The tour was organised under ''Operation Aman'' launched by the CRPF in Jammu and Kashmir.
During the tour, the children met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil.
They also visited historical and famous places such as the Golden Temple, Jalian Wala Bagh and Wagah border in Amritsar, Red Fort, Qutab Minar, Jama Masjid, India Gate, Raj Ghat, Lotus Temple Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi besides enjoying a ride on the Metro.
The children visited Taj Mahal in Agra and the shrine of Khawaja Moin-ud-din Chisti in Ajmer.
The children were happy as most of them had travelled outside the Valley for the first time to view the cultural heritage and secular spectrum of India.
Speaking on the occasion, CRPF IGP A P Maheshwari said the force was not only playing a vital role for maintaining internal security in the Valley, but also conducting various community development programmes.
The programmes included free medical camps, distribution of uniform and study materials to school children, development of parks, establishing vocational training centers for widows of victims of militancy, opening of static and mobile computer laboratories for young generation, construction of community halls and permanent structures for schools.
The CRPF had done a commendable job in evacuating victims of devastating earthquake on October 8 last year and taken several steps to rehabilitate them, he added.
Mr Maheshwari said the CRPF had adopted Kamalkote and Saraibandi villages in the quake-ravaged border area of Uri.
As many as 49 CRPF battalions have been deployed in the Kashmir valley, he added.
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