NCC Camp ablaze with united colours of India

NCC Camp ablaze with united colours of India

The  Capital's Garrison Ground has become a unique conglomeration of students in uniform from all parts of the country. The 2,070, out of National Cadets Corps' total strength of 13.8 lakh, come together for the Republic Day Contingent Camp here to do their bit for the Republic Day Parade.

"I have never come across a setting which brings together all parts of the country into one place. It naturally spills over to exchanges of culture. It gives glimpse of India," said Saddam Khan, a naval cadet from KS PG College, Ayodhya.

The camp gives them about a whole month of marching and other drill competitions, aero and ship modelling competitions, cultural contests divided into folk dances, group song and ballets, each State trying to get better than the others in the upkeep of their dwellings, decoration of their respective flag areas, horse show, and each NCC directorate's best cadet vying to be the best at the national level.

All this leaves no time for them to get homesick.

With the day starting by waking up at 4 am to be ready for roll call at 5 am, and then from 6 am onwards the practice for drill goes on till 12 noon. After lunch it again begins at 2.30 pm. If that doesn't get the best foot forward for them, then "from January 16, those who are selected to march on the Rajpath on January 26, we'll be practice-marching from 2 am to 6am on the Rajpath, as traffic flow is least at this time on the Rajpath," said Tushar Kant Sahu, a naval cadet from KIIT University, Bhubaneswar.  

It leaves the cadets with better physical endurance, according to Ankit Kumar, a B.Sc (Hons) student in Delhi. Also, with more confidence, as a student from Vivekanand Institute of Technology, Jaipur, Kirti Nair said. She is one of the 702 girl cadets at Garrison Grounds.

After attending the camp as a school student, she's attending the camp again as a college student. Commenting on the camp regimen and her attitude prior to and after attending the camp, the second time at Garrison Grounds, she says she feels more confident. "The confidence you saw in the way I went around to explain the theme of the directorates’ flag area, wouldn't have been there had I not attended the camp," she said.

The stay also gets them closer to perfection. "What sets apart an aero-modeller from others is the attitude towards perfection. For example, the perfection with which this model of Chinook helicopter is made from everyday material, would take me half-an-hour even to inspect it," said one of the camp instructors. 

All the above cadets said that they joined the NCC for a career in the Defence Forces.Kirti adds, "My mother wants me to become an engineer and my father would like to see me as an Army officer. To do what both my parents want, I have decided to be an engineer in the army."

If not the Defence Forces, there were other NCC cadets who made a name in other fields. They are: Vice President Hamid Ansari, Bollywood actress Jaya Bachchan, actor Chiranjeevi, and BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj among others. Then there are the three ladies whose NCC training helped them earn medals in international shooting tournaments. They are: Anjali Bhagwat, Lajja Goswami and Tejaswini Sawant.

But the month-long national competition of all skills imparted by NCC takes its toll on students' academics.

"It would be better if the camp starts from January 10, instead of January 7, thus reducing the days of the camp," said Tushar , adding that “Vice-Chancellors should make up for our loss of studies by giving us extra classes."

Another cadet said, "Just after the camp, we have our exams in March."

The duration of the camp is half-way through and the cadets not only want to attend the camp again, and even, in future would want their children to make it to Garrison Grounds' gathering of NCC's best cadets.

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