Once a cadet, always a cadet!

Time and tides wait for none and life goes on like an unstoppable conveyor belt. Times change, people change, cities change, countries change and the world changes but amidst these constant changes, I’ve noticed one thing that does not change…
Once a cadet, always a cadet!
The idea of ‘Exchange Participants Association’ was born almost 3 decades ago. The idea was lovingly nurtured and watered and it then went through Montessori, primary and high school. People came and people went but the organisation survived as the idea was bigger than any one individual. Over the years projects like women empowerment, education for girl child and assistance during natural calamities was taken up. Every project was taken up with dedication and commitment. At the heart of everything was the simple joy of giving back to the society in some way or the other. The association then graduated into a fully registered body in 2017. The association members wanted to give back to the organisation that had given them so much when they were cadets. With this in mind was born ‘CADET-Comprehensive All-Round Development and Employability Training’. A 2-day training program for NCC cadets by ex-NCC cadets.
Ex-cadets are trained to do the needful at the Cadet-Trainers’ Orientation Program. From C-TOP 1 at Bangalore, to C-TOP 2 at Ahmedabad, to C-TOP 3 at Ananthpur, I have experienced immense joy and contentment. I’ve met many a youngster with visions and many a senior with the kid inside intact. Every C-TOP has begun with people coming from across the country as individuals and returning to their homes with the feeling of being part of an extended family. The connection is so strong that it transcends age, caste, creed, religion, gender or demographics. All this simply because…
Once a cadet, always a cadet!
Every C-TOP has injected a booster doze of energy into the fold. Each new trainer eager and waiting to give back to the organisation that gave them so much, when they were a cadet. Every trainer wanting to make a difference in the lives of young cadets from across the country. Helping them to develop their personality and motivate them to become the best of themselves as individuals and as a united and disciplined future workforce.
Miles to go before we sleep and miles to go before we sleep.
Once a Cadet, Always a Cadet!

Devika Menezes Gill
CADET Trainer
NCC Republic Day Camp, 1986
Indo-Canada Youth Exchange Program, 1986-87