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 Young People.
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 population.
Etihad Airways currently flies to 11 Indian cities: Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Kochi, Kozhikode, Mumbai, New Delhi and Trivandrum.