Before I write this blog and tell you all the great things, I must confess that I was never a disciplined person in my school and for a fair part of my college life. I was however tilted towards academics and loved reading books and stories of discipline and adventure and how people attained success in their lives.
I got inspired to write this blog while thinking about the early days of my life when I encountered something related to fitness. It was the National Cadet Corps. The National Cadet Corps or in short, the NCC is part of schools and colleges in India as part of curriculum. However, participation in NCC is fully a voluntary choice.
NCC teaches a lot of values but at the crux of it lies two important things – Character formation and inculcating discipline in life and career.
However, I was motivated to join the NCC for a totally different cause: Morning Snacks. NCC cadets after their classes and activities were served hot samosas. a Samosa would cost Rs 2/- in those days. But I would not get the pocket money. So, to taste those lovely samosas, I decided to take the NCC route.
But, it was not easy to earn those samosas. I had to get up early in the morning. My normal school hours started at 9 am whereas I was required to report for the fall in at the school grounds at sharp 7:00 o’clock in the morning. And to do that, I must have gotten up, freshened up and reached the school by then. So, it translated to getting up at 6 o’clock or even earlier than that. And I was the person who could barely open his eyes by 8:00 am in the morning.
After you reached the school grounds, you will be initially taken around for a morning run. So, we all made the files of 3 each and ran in groups. A group would have 15 cadets. There were multiple groups that ran together. Each group led by a head cadet and the whole team of groups was led by our NCC teacher.
After the run, we would assemble back at the same place and we were taught about the various things from the defence – weaponry, tactical training, gun firing etc. We had the theory classes as well as practical classes.
But, my stomach would be burning with hunger as getting up at 6:00 am, I had to come empty stomach. All for the sake of samosas(precisely 2).
NCC offers a lots of opportunities in terms of adventure. You are taken for camps. At these camps, you stay with your fellow cadets and learn to work in teams and develop camaraderie.
NCC instils in you the sense of self discipline. You learn to take the orders from your seniors and carry them out dutifully. You learn to use your own discretion and plan the tactical moves at the camps and weapon training. NCC gives you exposure to self defence at a very early age. And all this come to you for no fees at all.
There are 3 levels of NCC training.
Those who complete the C Certificate are given an option to appear for the SSB Selection to join the forces as an officer. But, it is totally on a voluntary basis. You don’t need to serve the Army, Navy or Air force if you don’t wish to. But, many of those who reach the levels of C certificate have by then developed a deep sense of passion for serving the nation and therefore they join the forces.
Every year on 26th January to mark the anniversary, NCC also sends out its contingent to be part of the great Republic Day(RD) Parade. And it is an honour to be part of the RD Parade.