My Journey Back Home: To India and to Learning

Hello everyone, 

I am writing this to share an experience here. It happened like this. I attended RDC camp in 1996 and gave the Guard of Honor to Mr. P V Narasimha Rao who was the Prime Minister of India at the time. I finished my B.Sc. the same year as well. Unfortunately, my father passed away as soon as I finished my degree and my dream of joining the Army soon came to a dead-end.

RDC 1996

In the following year, I got married and left to the United States of America with my husband. I was just 21 and wanted to learn. So, with my husband’s support I joined a computer course which took place in the evenings. Then, after three months I joined two courses, then three and then ultimately became a full-time student and I finished my associate degree in Information Technology in 2000 with all the top honors. 

Soon after, we started a family and had a daughter and then a son. We relocated back to India in 2005 without availing a Green card or Citizenship of America as we wanted to come back to our roots, our culture and country. We wanted our children to have an attachment with the extended family and soon I became busy taking care of my family, kids, and my in-laws. 

In 2019, one of my friends from RDC told me about EXPA CADET program where we go to camps and train NCC cadets. I underwent a training myself and joined the team. I trained NCC cadets in Ahmedabad, Delhi, Mysore, and Thamna along with many other trainers. I also trained Associate NCC Officers in OTA (Offices Training Academy), Kamptee (Nagpur) along with other trainers. I was looking forward to train in more camps but because of the pandemic that did not happen.

To tackle this, our trainers came up with online training module and I also wanted to join them, but I had lost touch as I had not used a computer or laptop after my degree in 2000! I told my husband that I wanted to train cadets online and he was sweet enough to get me a second-hand laptop. Unfortunately, everything from turning the computer on to using the tools was very new for me.

Thanks to the many trainers who helped me relearn how to use the laptop in just a day, I trained cadets of Bihar, Jharkhand, Karnataka, and Telangana. After 18 years, I used a laptop, which was amazing! Thanks to everyone who helped me in the process and feel proud about myself. Thank you all!

Jyothi GR 
NCC Republic Day Camp 1996

CADET Trainer

Giving Advice

Sariitha Shenoy at Kamptee OTA

As a CADET trainer for the NCC, I work with young people (19-21 y-o) on some weekends of the year, talking to them about soft skills and how important these are in life. Eventually, by the end of that weekend, these cadets get really comfy talking to us and confiding in us trainers.

I think one of the reasons they do this is also because we are not their parents who’ll reprimand them, teachers who’ll cut marks for saying things or friends who will judge them.

Let me describe one such incident. One of these girls from one such camp connected with me long after we had worked with her group. I received a message from her saying she needed help and wanted me to speak to her parents and stop them from ‘arranging’ her marriage. She had already chosen someone to be her life partner and was afraid to tell her folks about it.

Now I was in a dilemma. Not because I was thinking of whether to speak to them or not, but because I had to send out the right message. So I told her that she needed to fight her own battles, that she needed to voice her opinion peacefully, listen to perspectives and then decide what to do.

Now, you may ask me: Why did I not speak to her parents about her relationship? I certainly could have, but it’s just that, as an adult, I would like to help a young person to understand everyone’s point of view. In this case, the girl needed to understand what her folks are saying as well. Secondly, when people tell you about themselves, they tend to give you only their versions and those may not always be the one and only version, right?

So, bottom line, I think as adults in the lives of young people, we create an impact when we deal with the answers they seek. How we respond to them is critical. You don’t want to be the one to instigate someone (boy or girl) against the family they are part of. It is up to the person to be able to approach adults, take them into confidence, allow for all to see the different perspectives that are out there and then make informed choices.
IMHO we should instil in them the faith in themselves to deal with situations amicably.

What do you think? I would love to hear from you what you think and what you would do differently if you were in my position.

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A story of desire and belief…

To succeed in life and achieve your goals, you must understand and master two mighty forces- desire and belief.
The 2-day C-TOP course at the Raxa Academy, Ananthpur has instilled in me the zeal and enthusiasm to conquer all my fears and emerge victoriously. This camp has taught me that living a life of excellence is merely a way of thinking and programming our minds with the kind of information that will set us free. The trainers have imbibed the sense of social transformation and teamwork in all the NCC cadets through pragmatic examples. The training was paraphrased, yet very eloquent considering the cadets from varying social backgrounds. The core motive of this camp was to provide some vital values which are also helpful in our daily life. The course also let me reflect upon the downright enormous impact on our personality. I convene the spur of positive energy and incitement to succeed and help the others succeed conjointly from this.

Priyanshi Tripathi
NCC Batch of 2018

Motivation, learning, and inspiration…

अभी तो जाग रहे हैं चराग़ राहों के,
अभी है दूर सहर थोड़ी दूर साथ चलो!
-अहमद फ़राज़
For me, this sher sums up the purpose, mission, and vision of the CADET program. It was 9 am and we all were ready to proceed with the 2-day training schedule in Junagadh, Gujarat. I was a part of the group of trainers who were ‘walking the talk’ for the first time. I would be lying if I say I wasn’t nervous. The trainers were paired up, batches of cadets were divided & assigned to us. Now here’s the big thing, these 30-40 cadets we were going to train, were our responsibility: Responsibility of training 40 young minds and direct them to a path of better learning, ideas, and visions. As easy as it looks, the opportunity is equally challenging & significant.
It all began from knowing the names of cadets & ended with knowing their endless views, beliefs, objectives, imagination, creativity, opinions, reasons, conclusions and new visions. Amidst the beginning & the closure, were endless moments of learning, fun, awareness, understanding, soul searching, and growth. What bridged the gap between the start & the end, the cadets and the trainers, the ignorance and the awareness, was the CADET program. At 7 pm on the second day, bidding a farewell to all the cadets and leaving the training ground of NCC Camp at Junagadh left me with some real motivation, learning, and inspiration.
If asked, I would sum up the CADET program, the experience & opportunity it holds for all in one sher
जहाँ रहेगा वहीं रौशनी लुटाएगा,
किसी चराग़ का अपना मकाँ नहीं होता!
-वसीम बरैल्वी

Chunauti Sharma
CADET Trainer
NCC Republic Day Camp, 2018