| NCC cadets present a drill at Patna College on Wednesday. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh |
The colourful NCC Day function brought to the fore two bitter truths and a pleasant surprise.
First the brighter side: the participation of youths, especially girls, in the National Cadet Corps (NCC) camps in the Bihar-Jharkhand region has increased in the past few years.
The flip side is the region, including Bihar, still accounts for very less participation of youths in the NCC camps as compared to states like Maharasthra, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. Reason: alleged lack of support from the state government.
Lt Colonel Vibhai Mann Singh (NCC Patna) said: “The reason behind low participation of youths in the NCC camps from the Bihar-Jharkhand region is the indifference of the governments.” The Bihar government is not providing ground and other infrastructure that can motivate youths to join the NCC, he said.
The senior army officer cited another reason behind the lack of interest among the state youths to join the NCC. “In other states, NCC is attached with the education department. In Bihar, it is under the art culture and youths affairs department,” he said.
Echoing Singh, Lt Col D.K. Gautam said: “It has been witnessed that terrorism and Naxalite violence is comparatively less in the states having good participation of youths in the NCC because the youngsters are taught to love their country and be disciplined.”
Deputy director-general of NCC Brigadier Ratan Kumar and education minister P.K. Shahi were also present at the NCC Day celebration at Patna College.
Shahi, the chief guest, urged the school and college students to participate in the NCC camps. “The services of the NCC cadets would be ta-ken in disaster management. The state government is willing to provide all assistance to the NCC in this direction.”
The cadets from Bihar exhibited various drills with the message that the NCC not only inculcates a feeling of national pride and love but also makes a man disciplined. Various drills on how to counter terror attacks and work in the time of disasters were exhibited. The cadets also presented cultural programmes on the occasion.
The total number of NCC cadets in Bihar is around 51,000. Of them, 30 per cent are girls.
Youths interested in NCC are inducted in two stages — school and college. In the school-level, youths interested to join the NCC are inducted from classes VIII to X. At college-level entry, students can join the NCC at the Intermediate-level.
The NCC Bihar-Jharkhand region has been divided into five divisions — Patna, Ranchi, Bhagalpur, Muzaffarpur and Gaya. In the Patna division, around 80 schools and 20 colleges have NCC camps. The few colleges having NCC camps include Patna Women’s College, AN College, Patna College and JD Women’s College.