Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has donated school supplies to underprivileged children studying at Noshera Mewat Public Middle School near New Delhi, India.
The donation was presented at the official
re-opening of the school, which has been fully rebuilt with funds raised by the
Abu Dhabi-based airline. Students received over 1,000 school bags, stationery,
meals, uniforms, shoes and other garments.
A senior delegation from Etihad Airways
presented the donation which was funded through charitable initiatives from
staff, including ‘Walk for a Cause’, garage sales and a football tournament
held during the Holy month of Ramadan.
The delegation, headed by Khaled Al Mehairbi,
Senior Vice President of Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Hub, welcomed the
participation of His Excellency Dr Ahmed Albanna, the UAE Ambassador to India
and, Kavita Joshi, Jet Airways’ Head of Sales, Northern India. Also present
were Adil Al Mulla, Vice President Procurement and Supply Management, Neerja
Bhatia, Vice President Indian Sub-Continent and four UAE national cadet pilots
from Etihad Airways.
Al Mehairbi, who also serves as Chairman of
Etihad Airways’ Sports and Social Committee, said: “We are delighted to launch
this initiative just before Diwali and sincerely hope we were able to make a
positive impact in these young children’s lives. As the UAE’s national carrier,
we are pleased to once again reaffirm our commitment to Indian society and give
back to those in need. Etihad’s family is proud to play a part in helping these
students pursue their studies and in raising global awareness of the
importance of education to the less fortunate.
The delegation was met by Indian
representatives from Mewat district who accompanied Etihad Airways’ team in
distributing 1,000 of the airline’s new kids kit to a nursery previously
renovated by Etihad Airways. Furthermore, the Abu Dhabi based airline announced
a new school library project, to be completed by December. The new educational
facility will target 1,000 students ranging in age from 6 to 14 years.
The library project is underway in
cooperation with the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY), a non-profit
organisation that works closely with the International Board on Books for
His Excellency Dr Ahmed Albanna said,”
The rich history of friendship between India and the UAE is deep rooted. This
donation represents the kindness and generosity of Etihad Airways’ staff and
partners, as well as the wider Abu Dhabi community who selflessly partook in
the initiative. Collectively, through our efforts, we shined a light of
glimmering hope to our brothers and sisters in India, allowing them
the chance of a better future.”
Al Mehairbi concluded: "Our special
thanks and warmest appreciation goes to all parties who supported the success
of this trip, notably the UAE Embassy in India and SMART, an Indian NGO.”
The trip reflects the historical ties between
Abu Dhabi and India, and highlights Etihad Aviation Group’s commitment to
its strategic airline partners.
The 2.6 million-strong Indian community, the
largest expatriate community in the UAE, comprises 30 per cent of the total UAE
Etihad Airways currently flies to 11 Indian
cities: Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Kochi,
Kozhikode, Mumbai, New Delhi and Trivandrum.