United Nations Mission in Sudan Valued Venture

Ocotober 7, 2007 (UNMIS)

Indian Force Reserve Battalion of UNMIS along with other UN agencies and NGOs renovated Kalimo Basic Girls School, the only girls middle school in Kadugli town. The school lacked basic amenities. The boundary wall was missing which gave a feeling of insecurity to the staff and students.

In order to improve the education facilities for the girls, the Force Reserve Battalion, acting as the coordinating agency, pooled in resources from Mobadaroon, UNICEF, IFAD, WFP, Norwegian Relief Council, CARE and Save the Child (USA) for the renovation work.

Many facilities have been added to the school. The school now has a five-foot high boundary wall with two gates, blackboards in all classes, additional blackboards on the boundary wall of the school, a see-saw and a volleyball ground. Three classrooms, which were not in use due to lack of roof, have been provided with new roof. The school has been given a shining look with new coat of distemper on the walls. All the doors and windows of the school have been painted. The walls of classrooms have been decorated with educative and motivational material like captions, multiplication tables, English and Arabic alphabets and maps of the world and Sudan to appreciating the efforts of Force Reserve Battalion, Police Department (Prisons) of South Kordofan provided prison inmates for assisting in labour work. A toilet has been constructed in the school premises by the UNICEF.

On August 30, a function was held at Kalimo Basic Girls School to mark the inauguration of the school renovated by Indian Force Reserve Battalion. The function was presided over by Mr Ahmed Tajir, Minister of Youth and Sports, South Kordofan. Gen Mohammed Ahmed Alfadal, Director General of Police, South Kordofan, a large number of community leaders and locals also attended the function. The school-children presented an impressive cultural programme which was followed by a tea party organised by the Force Reserve Battalion. The children were presented with school bags containing complete set of notebooks, compass box, tiffin box and pen sets.

Speaking on the occasion, the Force Reserve Battalion Commander Col Sandeep Sehgal thanked South Kordofan State Government for providing an opportunity to come close to the people of Kadugli. He also thanked Police Department, UN agencies and NGOs for their support in the venture. He expressed hope for an improved and long lasting friendship between India and Sudan.

Mr Ali Dafa Ullah, Chief of Mobadaroon Kadugli, said: ''inspite of the distance between Kadugli and the Indian Battalion Camp, the Force Reserve Battalion is close to our heart as they have helped us so much.'' He further added that the Indian battalion's work has reminded them of the teachings of the Father of the Nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. He thanked the local community for participation in the work and congratulated the Indian battalion. Mrs Fatima Mohammed Swar, Head Teacher of the school, thanked Force Reserve Battalion and praised the high morale of the Indian Army.

In his concluding speech, Mr Ahmed Tajir, Minister of Youth and Sports South Kordofan also praised the hard work and efforts of the Battalion.

-input: Maj Shambhu Sharan Singh



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