NCC ( National Cadet Corps) is one of the national organization which trains the high school, college students for unity and discipline. Today there are more than 15lac NCC Cadets in India, all this is organized by the government of India at its own expenses.The different social activities the NCC cadets will be doing are contruction of roads to remote places, Serving for the NGOs etc.
I was a boy who was very keen to join NCC during my higher primary school, so for the sake of NCC I changed my school after my 7th standard. I had joined the Army wing. NCC has three different wings called Army, Air force, Navy. I had chose Army for two purpose, the best uniform among the three wings was for Army according to me and I wanted to join Indian Army.
It was during my 8th standard I joined army wing. I was very much excited on the first day of my NCC session, we were given full uniform of Army, wearing those was a pride to me, the very tuff and heavy shoes, the shining belt, the badge with NCC written on that.
I met Venktesh during my high school itself, who is one of my best friend, and I had many other friends in NCC too, Rohit, Akshay, Prakash, etc. During my first year in NCC the rank each one of us would get is ‘cadet’. We were taught drill exercises, marching, weapon training, during this period. We also had a firing session using the point 303 riffle during my first year, which was one of the best experience I had in NCC.
Each of us were given 10 rounds (Bullets), we had to shoot in 2 sessions of 5 rounds each. We had to retain the case of the bullet after firing. It was the first experience of shooting in my life and I was quite nervous, first session I could make only 3 bullets hit the targets, remianing two dissappeared. I was screwed badly for not shooting properly, so I made up my mind to hit all 5 bullets at the bulls eye in the second round and I was successfull too. I hit all 5 bullets with 5cm grouping precision. (The method used to determine the quality of shooting in NCC was by using grouping precision, in which it doesn’t matter much which part of the target you hit, but all the bullets should hit the same spot, so they would see the distance between two farthest bullet marks and that would be our precision) which means I had shooted all the bullets inside a 5cm circle. That was a great day.
NCC has made compulsory that a cadet has to attend atleast one camp if he wants to write NCC exam. So I had to attend the NCC camp at KPT( Karnataka Polytechnic) Mangalore. It was a Annual Training Camp and was for 10 days. We around 12 cadets left to the camp from my place. First day at the camp will be usually bored as we would not know other cadets much and also we had to clean the camp premises, picking plastic bags, uprooting weeds etc. Around 10-15 schools and colleges participate in each camp. So the overall cadet strength in a camp will be around 1000.
The rooms given to us was a hostel room of a government college, so obviously there will be no fans, tubelights. We had to manage with a 40watt bulb, the floor was very dirty and we had to clean that too because we had no other options to sleep than on the floor. I think it was the first time I slept in a room without fan, god! that was horrible.
Next day early morning we had to get up at 5 else there would be no water left for even brushing teeths, there were no enclosed bathrooms, toilets for guys (oops!!). Bathroom was a open space outside the hostel and a big boat shaped structure which was filled with water was to be used by everyone. The worst part was toilet (No way!!), it was nothing but a wooden ramp over a long ditch. They had put some partition and made toilets which were open front and back, so we usually went only during dark.
It was a very good experience for me at my first NCC camp. But yes I was really saturated and frustrated by the end of the camp for two things, one we were not given proper food, two we were made to work hard, very hard. I think I did not work out that much in my whole life as much I did in that camp.
I attended one more camp in my first year at Canara Urva High school, Mangalore. This place was a much better camping place than the previous one as this was a private aided school, we were given large enough rooms, with tube lights and fans. This time we were a bit relaxed since we knew our seniors better, and we had become good friends. This was one of the best camp I attended in my life, it was full of fun, fun and fun. We played lot of pranks on each other like applying toothpaste on some ones face when they sleeping, hiding chappals, hiding glasses, making crank calls. The worst one was one of my senoir had got snuff powder, and night when everone was slept he blew it over everyone. Huh! It was very funny to see everyone sneezing like mad cows. Lucky that I was awake and I did not take it in.
In this camp our main camp commander was the NCC officer of the hosting school, his name was Lasrado. He was very strict about maintaing discipline etc, one during playing football in the evening my friend Venky hit the ball with full force and FORTUNATELY, the ball hit a NCC battalion tube light. The consequence was very bad!! But some how he managed to escape. This 10 days at Canara Urva was whole lot of fun.
So now after attending the camp, I was eligible to write the NCC exam, and by that time our academic year ended. Next year I was promoted from cadet to Corporal, it was the second highest rank in Junior NCC. Me , my friends Venky, akshay all were now Corporals. And now we had the responsibility of teaching to our juniors.
It was our time then to make our juniors work. But at the same time we were responsible for them to be perfect in drill exercises, etc. It was not a easy job as our juniors were from different background, some were from kannada medium, some english, some from other states. All with different mentality. First of all it was very hard to handle around 50 cadets. But we did our best.
This year as I was the corporal I had the responsibility of taking my juniors to the NCC camp. Wow! This time it was my time to rule. Dominating my juniors was one thing but at the same time I had to manage them also, because we were representing our school and any bad thing we do will effect our school reputation and I would be responsible for that, so I had to be serious this time rather than making fun. But ya this time my juniors were making fun among themselves, and I used to join them some times . Daily night after dinner we had some program at the auditorium and we had to prepare for some entertainment. It was all good fun, but the main problem was of language as many of us did not knew Hindi properly and the NCC staff who are from North India do not understand Kannada. But we managed to do all our programs in hindi.