After having rescued over 23,000 people in disaster-hit Uttarakhand, the Indian Air Force has now contributed for their rehabilitation by donating Rs 8.33 crore in the Prime Minister's relief fund.
The amount was collected by IAF through donation of a day's salary by its over 1.7 lakh officers and men deployed across the country, Air Force officials said.
The cheque was presented to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne at the Air Force Day reception at the IAF chief's residence on Tuesday. In one of the largest relief operations in the country since Independence, IAF played a major role in Uttarakhand after floods caused by incessant rains struck large-scale devastation there beginning June 16 night.
The Air Force airlifted more than 23,000 people-- flying more than 2,140 sorties and dropping/landing a total of 3,82,400 kg of relief material and equipment.
At the peak of its operations in the hill state, IAF had deployed more than 50 aircraft and helicopters. The operations went on till the end of July. The IAF choppers involved in the sorties included the Mi-26, Mi-17V5, Mi-17, ALH Dhruv besides their mainstay in the difficult terrain--Cheetah and Chetak light helicopters.