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Monday, May 10, 2010

What keeps the NCC Cadets going ?

By now I have been with NCC cadets, for about seven years and I keep wondering as to what keeps them going. I have been through three different states, poles apart, socially and culturally. Financial Support from the State Govt, the standard of Educational Institutions and the work culture are so different in every State. Yet, one thing that is common is the enthusiasm displayed by the cadets. How can you keep attending camp after camp? After all, these are not five star camps, in the garb of adventure tourism, where all possible amenities are provided under canvas. The accommodation provided is partly built up and partly tentage, generally the less used portion of the local school or college, with some support provided by the local municipal body.

The routine starts at six in the morning and may well go on past the midnight. If lucky, you might get some hostel accommodation, with cooking and dining facilities, but most of the times, the camps are held under abysmal conditions, going by the normal standards of urban lifestyle ; ie a place to cook, a place to eat, a place to wash and bathe, hot meals, amenities like electricity, running water, TV, decent working hours etc. Living in tents is okay for 3-4 days but carrying on for 3-4 months is beyond my understanding. There are at least seven camps in the run up to the Republic Day Camp at Delhi. The competition is so stiff that no one dares to fall sick even for a session leave alone a day; his or her place would immediately be taken by one of the cadets sniffing at his heels. There are cadets who are dropped in the last camp and the subsequent year, to my surprise, they are back again for the grind. What's more, they are ever so cheerful; so much so that, being with them you forget all about the heat, dust, and deprivations. You just feel refreshed and energized in their company.

Recently I had a chat with one of the cadets who had done umpteen number of camps in 2009 and this is what she had to say .... we all are missing the camps sooooo bad...... i'd die if i don't get to attend another one.....

What is it that keeps them going ?!


Ram said...

My earliest camp was an ACC camp more than 50 years back. Followed by my NCC experience in Kharagpur. I think the same set of conditions are still valid. An opening to experience youthful idealism in an environment where you don't need to be rich or have connections to do something without any tangible rewards. Yet the experience is worth the earth.

Sinjini said...

so very surprised to find my pic in ur blog... How are you doing Sir?? Sinjini (The Junior Cadet from West Bengal)