A Tribute to Neerja Bhanot – The National Hero.

Neerja Bhanot, the purser on Pan Am flight 73 which was hi jacked to Karachi; laid down her life saving the passengers on the flight, helping them escape through the Emergency Door. She was shot by the terrorists.  She was honored with Ashoka chakara Posthumously her brother Aneesh Bhanot, now a Rotarian in Chandigarh has undertaken to help the Visually Impaired students in Chandigarh; as a tribute to Neerja Bhanot – the National Hero. The Times of India has covered his latest tribute.

Rotary Chandigarh Shivalik (RCS) presented scholarships worth Rs 1.80 lakh to nine visually-challenged college and university students. The funds had been raised through a unique fundraiser, “Rotary Dinner in the Dark”, held in September and October. Part of the funds came through a number of people pledging additional support to RCS for ensuring that visually impaired students were able to complete their education and achieve success in life.

A jury headed by J S Jyara, headmaster, Institute for the Blind, decided to confer the scholarships of Rs 20,000 each. The nine students include Manpreet Kaur (Late Col Harsharan Sandhu Scholarship), Labh Singh (Late H S Malik Scholarship), Yogita (Late Sarabjit Singh Scholarship), Sadanand (Late Santosh Mehra Scholarship), Hussna (Late Bimla Devi Laroia Scholarship), Princy Rani (Late Bimla Devi Scholarship), Prince Wadhwa (Adhiraj and Nandini Scholarship), Sajan Singh (Late Veena Gill Scholarship) and Ravi Paswan (Rama Bhanot Scholarship).

Jyara said while cheques of Rs 10,000 each were handed over to each awardee, the balance Rs 10,000 would be given in the next semester provided the student performed well in academics in the current semester.

Manjit Kaur, president, Rotary Chandigarh Shivalik, said, “We achieved our basic objectives, to ensure that ‘sighted’ people respect the blind by understanding how they smilingly face the problems they face in their daily lives as well as raise funds for providing scholarships. We are making this an annual event and there will be two Rotary dinners in the Dark in the New Year on January 4, which is Louis Braille Day, and on October 15, which is White Cane Day.”

Giving details of the January 4, event, Rotarian Aneesh Bhanot said this would also be a fundraiser for scholarships for the next academic session and would be limited to 50 people on a first-come, first-served basis. As RCS wants to spread the message of ‘Respect the Visually Impaired’ among the youth, there is a special discounted offer for students in the age group of 13-18 years.

The team of visually impaired youth who have selflessly volunteered to be part of RDID included Shiv, Amarinder, Kuljeet, Mohit, Meeta and Soni. They are being assisted by a number of volunteers.

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