Laurels galore for NCC bravehearts

Inspiring Acts

It was a moment of pride for the parents of those cadets who were awarded the Raksha Mantri Padak and Commendation Cards by the Union Minister of Defence, A K Antony, for their exemplary courage and devotion to duty. 

Cadets were brimming with confidence, so were their parents who were present at the 'Investiture Ceremony' held at National Cadet Corps (NCC) Republic Day Camp at Delhi Cantonment recently.

Notably, the Raksha Mantri Padak was instituted in 1989 and since then, is awarded to the most deserving Cadets every year for bravery or exceptional service of highest order. This year the RM Padak has been awarded to 10 cadets, nine of whom successfully scaled Mount Everest, while the other won it for social service. Metrolife caught up with the cadets for a little  tête-à-tête.

Senior under Officer Ashwini Kumar of Himachal Pradesh Directorate was the first one to climb the summit of the Mount Everest. “It wasn’t easy to climb the peak. Oxygen was low, climatic condition was harsh and the path was so narrow that we had to be extra cautious,” says Ashwini, who also helped two girls from a different group, while coming down the peak.

“Those girls were not cadets and they belonged to some other expedition group.  Owing to low blood pressure and some sort illness, the two faced trouble in coming down from the summit,” says Ashwini. “So I remained with the two girls and I brought them down safely,” he says.

Winning the Raksha Padak is obviously one reason that’s put Ashwini on cloud nine but his happiness is doubled by the fact that he we will be getting the medal in front of his parents. “My parents are happier than me. It’s a moment of pride for them,” he exclaims.

In the list of awardees is another cadet Sheikh Aamir of Jammu and Kashmir Directorate, awarded RM Padak for his voluntary contribution to assist the civil administration during a devastating fire incident in the remote Frislan
village, in which almost the entire village was razed to
the ground.

“The entire village was burning.  There was hue and cry all over. More than 300 people lost everything in that fire incident,” recalls Aamir. “We had to control the
situation, provide water to douse the fire, take care of kids, provide first-aid at the earliest and calm down the people,” he says.

Apart from the act of bravery and social service, two cadets were awarded the Raksha Mantri Commendation Card for their brilliant performance in sports at the National and International level. Cadet Raizada Shaurya Bali of Delhi Remount and Veterinary (R&V) Regiments R&V Sq NCC was awarded RM Commendation Card for winning 80 Medals in various equestrian events.

“I was never fond of horse riding. It was not until one day, when I was very young,” he laughs, “that a guy showed off in front of me. It touched my ego and I decided to learn horse riding. Gradually I realised that I liked equestrian sports and continued with it,” says Shaurya.

Another Cadet Manoj Nayak of West Bengal Directorate was awarded RM Commendation Card for winning the Gold in Mavlankar Shooting Championship and two Bronze medals in National Shooting Championship. Son of a farmer, Manoj says, “I want to represent India at the Olympics now. But my parents don’t have enough money to support me. I have written a letter to the senior officials
for grants.”

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