Enthusiasm, patriotic verve sweeps through NCC camp

splendid synergy

It is extremely cold after heavy rainfall lashed the City last night. The cold grey morning, the bone-piercing chill and the biting wind are conditions that easily deter the best of us from venturing out. And so it was on a freezing January day this week when the bravest ventured out to put their best foot forward--quite literally.

Standing to attention at the Garrison Parade Ground, where preparations for the Republic Day parade are in full swing, are hundreds of young boys and girls who seem to be least affected by this unpleasant weather. All they know is that they have only a few days left to practise for the grand finale at Rajpath on January 26 and the Prime Minister’s rally which brings the curtains down on the month-long Republic Day Camp (RDC) of the National Cadet Corps.

Rupinder Kaur of Karnataka Directorate is part of the NCC girl’s contingent who will march on Rajpath on Republic Day. The ebullient youngster says, “It is really a proud feeling to walk on Rajpath. We are all very enthusiastic because it is the first time for many of us.” Nodding in agreement S Ezhilarasi of Tamil Nadu Directorate says, “We are going through rigorous practice sessions. We start our march past from three in the morning and continue till 12 noon at Rajpath. We are back to Garrison Ground and resume practising again.”

Like Rupinder and Ezhilarasi, other cadets, who will march in front of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, are equally excited. Impeccably turned out contingents from different State Directorates are accompanied by their bands belting out inspiring tunes. As the contingent is kept busy with the parade, there is another group of the selected cadets of the three Armed Forces wings who are practising to greet the Prime Minister with full military honour and regalia. Cadets mounted on stallions, are seen rehearsing galloping across the chief guest’s dais carrying respective flags of the Services and the NCC smartly and gracefully.

On the other side of the ground are some adventure activities taking place. Cadets tied to a tight rope from the jeep are doing parasailing. Practising again and again to get the correct start and smooth landing on the ground, the young cadets bursting with energy and verve are thrilled to perform the stunt.

Meanwhile, a team of Indian Army personnel are busy simulating a war-like situation on ground. From inducting reinforcement, casualty evacuation and small team insertion extraction formed part of their exercise. For any onlooker this was as gripping and exciting as the real thing.

There are tanks and choppers to beef up the war operations. “The Combat Team (CT) is practising with tanks and APCs (Armed Personnel Carriers,” says an Army official heading the session. “The team will churn bunkers on the other end with these bunkers. Once these tanks go ahead, right behind them is a Strela missile tank which gives air defence to the big tank. After these tanks move over the bunkers, then comes the APCs. There are 10 soldiers inside it, who come out to kill the remaining hidden enemy,” he says.

The “next level of operation is to pick the injured soldiers. Cadets slither down from the helicopters and take the injured soldiers on stretchers. The display shows how food and other items are dropped through choppers in the war area,” the officer adds.
And this is just a glimpse of the pulsating energy and daredevilry that will be on display on the D-Day!

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