As many as 31 citizens of Chandigarh will be awarded commendation certificates by the Chandigarh Administration this Independence Day for rendering outstanding services in various fields — health, engineering, art and culture, forest and wildlife, social service, bravery, public service et al.
Among the 31 who will be honoured on August 15, is Sheela , a woman conductor at Carmel Convent School, who battling for her life at PGI for ne month and was discharged this week, after a 250-year-old Heritage Tree collapsed inside the school’s premises killing a 16-year-old student. Sheela will receive the commendation certificate for bravery.
Sheela, who has been part of the school for the last eight years, was on her way to the auditorium when she saw a 250-year-old tree fall on students at the school. She rushed to rescue the children and was helping some trapped girls when a branch of the 70-feet tall tree fell on her, injuring her critically. As many as 14 children were seriously injured in the tragedy. A single mother of two teenagers, financial and emotional support poured in for Sheela from various sections of society from both the city and outside. She was put on a ventilator and was in a coma at the PGI. “My mother doesn’t recall the tragedy and we have told her that she fell down the stairs,” says Jaspreet, Sheela’s 18-year-old daughter.
In the field of public service, among others, Aarush and Rushil Khanna, students at Strawberry High School, will receive the commendation certificate. During the peak of Covid-19, the 16-year-old twins set up House of Udyog, a recycled clothing start-up to create a source of income for people to help them sustain their families and create an environmentally sustainable brand. The unique initiative focused on providing work opportunities here so that people would not be forced back to their villages.
Recently the House of Udyog won the third prize at the international Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition.