|NCC cadets in traditional attire at the National Integration Camp in Rourkela. Picture by Uttam Kumar Pal
Unity in diversity
A National Integration Camp of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) is under way at Rourkela in which as many as 640 cadets selected from different parts of the country are taking part. The camp, being conducted by the 9 Odishaa Battalion at the Ispat Vidyalaya (Sector 18) in the Steel City, will conclude on June 12.
The camp site is abuzz with activities with the young cadets forging new friendships and learning about each other’s history, art, culture and traditions. The integration camp aims at fostering a spirit of camaraderie and inculcates in the youth a sense of nationalism and secular outlook for the process of nation building.
The cadets were being trained in various adventurous and daredevil activities such as slithering, boat pulling, parasailing and trekking for building confidence and developing leadership qualities, said colonel Vikas Goswami, group commander of Sambalpur NCC unit. Since self defence is an integral part of the NCC syllabus, they are learning karate from expert Tapan Biswas of Rourkela. Sports activities such as hockey, basketball and tug of war are also being held.
The cadets are also being exposed to a variety of lectures, computer and internet classes. They are also taking part in social service and disaster management training. As part of an educational tour, they will also visit Rourkela Steel Plant, Puri and Konark. The cadets also performed to showcase the art and culture of their respective states. Prizes for the best performances and programmes would be given away on June 12.
Nalco Foundation, the corporate social responsibility wing of the National Aluminium Company (Nalco), inked MoUs with the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), Koraput Development Foundation (KDF) and Bikash Vidyalaya for sponsoring education of children from the periphery villages of Damanjodi in Koraput from this academic year. The foundation has earmarked Rs 17 crore for 2012-13 to cover the school fee, lodging, boarding and other expenses of nearly 350 children. The beneficiaries of this project have already been identified from Laxmipur, Narayanpatna and Koraput blocks. This five-year project for providing quality education has an annual outlay of Rs 70 lakh.
A consultation on state financing for the children was organised in the capital last week where academics, grassroots activists, policy makers and development partners discussed key concerns and issues related to children and its correlation to budget.
Jointly conducted by the Centre for Youth and Social Development, Plan-India and Orissa Alliance on Convention on the Rights of the Child, the key objective of the consultation was to highlight child budget components in the state finance and generate wider citizen discourse on the issue.
Programme manager of Unicef-Odisha Y. Padmavati said: “A child-friendly budget is not about how much percentage is allocated, it is about how the allocated fund reach children and benefit them.” On the other hand, professor Vishnu Mohapatra said budget was not about numbers, but about governance, attitude and values.
Special secretary of the health and family welfare department underlined the 34 per cent decline in infant mortality rate in the state, which is highest in the country in last 10 years. Talking about the proposed newborn care corner and newborn care units, he said: “Nineteen special newborn care units have been set up so far. More than fund constraint, shortage of manpower is the main problem in health sector. We do not have required number of doctors, pediatricians to work in districts.”