NCC doused in R-Day colours

Youth Power

One could feel the excitement when one entered the Garrison Parade Ground in Delhi Cantt Saturday last. Even before one could realise what was happening two choppers hovering just over the grounds grabbed attention. As one raised a hand to shield the morning sun to gaze at them, the sound of a explosion from the other end, shook me up for a second.

Moving closer to the choppers, the Metrolife team reached a point from where the two could be clearly seen. While one had already landed the other was still up in the air. Suddenly, young ‘soldiers’ carrying a man on a stretcher began running towards the helicopter, while the other chopper dropped baggage on ground.
What looked like a battle on ground was actually a simulation exercise of a war-like situation as National Cadet Corps (NCC) cadets rehearsed in earnest for the finale of the Republic Day Camp (RDC), preparing themselves for a flawless act which will be presented to the Prime Minister come January 28.

The NCC Republic Day Camp is the biggest and the most prestigious NCC camp where cadets from 17 state directorates vie with each other to secure a place in the RDC contingent of their respective state. Nearly 2000 cadets participate in the camp every year and this year was no different.

As one section of the cadets was busy in this exercise, the others lined up to start parade rehearsals. Smartly dressed marching contingents accompanied by their bands began their parade. Grit, idealism and enthusiasm were clearly visible on young faces as cadets matched step for step.

Taking eyes away from the marching contingents, which included the Remount and  Veterinary Corps, we noticed jeeps on the road at the other end preparing for their act. As we moved up, one noticed cadets about to begin para-sailing. With a rope tied to the jeep, a cadets went up in the air flawlessly, as the jeep accelerated. Once on top, he smartly saluted towards the dias.

It was then the turn of students from Sanskriti School to begin practicing their dance to add colour. Cadets from Maharashtra were also practicing on lazium and creating different formations. Interestingly, foreign cadets, who are a part of youth exchange programme at the camp, were also matching the footwork with dancers and enjoying themselves thoroughly.

A cadet from Tamil Nadu, Raajesh, spoke to Metrolife: “We are all charged up. Besides participating in cultural and adventure activities we get a chance to interact with cadets from other directorates and get a chance to understand community living.”

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