MANGALDAI, Nov 29 � �It was beyond my imagination that a schoolboy like me belonging to a remote village near Mangaldai could ever be able to shake hands with the President of India at the Rastrapati Bhavan,� exclaimed Neptune Hazarika, a Class XI student of Kabikara village in the western part of Mangaldai in Darrang district who had a rare opportunity to meet the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, along with 14 other students recently in an organised tour sponsored by the Red Horns Division.
Troops of the Red Horns Division based in Darrang district sponsored an all-expenses paid National Integration Tour in which 15 students from the remote and rural areas of Darrang and Udalguri districts under the guidance of a senior officer of the men in olive green were taken to the National Capital City of New Delhi, Jaipur and Agra in the 14-day tour. These children from various schools of both districts, most of whom had never experienced a train journey before, had a rare experience of their life when they visited New Delhi and Agra. In New Delhi, they visited the Rashtrapati Bhavan and had the privilege to have a cup of tea with the President of India. The President expressed his happiness over meeting the students and exhorted them to strive for the development of the country.
The students also visited the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Red Fort, Rajghat, Qutub Minar, Science Museum, Planetarium, Pragati Maidan, India Gate, Jantar Mantar and Lotus Temple. They also enjoyed a ride on the Delhi Metro. In Agra, the students saw the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Dayal Bagh and the tomb of Akbar at Sikendara. The students also witnessed a demonstration of para motoring by Army personnel at Agra.
In Jaipur, these students met the GOC-in-C of South Western Command, Lt Gen AK Sahni, in the Command Headquarters. Besides interacting with the students, the GOC-in-C offered them gifts.
Earlier, the National Integrity Tour for 2014 was ceremonially flagged off by the Commanding Officer of the Army unit at Chapai in Mangaldai.
According to information received here, the 15-member team of students were accorded a welcome in a function at the Red Horns Division on November 21. The General Officer Commanding of the Red Horns Division, accompanied by senior officials of the Army, welcomed the students in the presence of a number of guardians.
While sharing their experience in the tour, the GOC of the Red Horns Division hoped that with the knowledge of national integrity and the spirit of �unity in diversity� acquired during their tour, the students would be able to spread the message of national integrity to all sections of the society. The students in the flagging-in ceremony also performed a patriotic song during the event which was applauded by an elated audience and their parents.
It may be mentioned here that apart from sponsoring the tour to places of historic significance outside Assam, the troops of the Red Horns Division operating in Udalguri and Darrang districts have also been undertaking various welfare projects for the students as part of the Operation Sadbhavana.