Suryakant Jena

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: The National Cadet Corps (NCC) and Department of Ex-Servicemen welfare (ESW), Ministry of Defence (MoD) have offered a helping hand to civilian authorities in the country’s fight against COVID-19.

The NCC has issued guidelines for temporary employment of its cadets under ‘Exercise NCC Yogdan' to augment relief efforts and functioning of various agencies involved in battling the pandemic under.

The tasks envisaged for NCC cadets include, manning of helpline/call centres; distribution of relief materials/medicines/ food/essential commodities; community assistance; data management and queue & traffic management. According to the guidelines, cadets should not be employed in handling of law and order situation or for active military duties or at hot spots.

Only Senior Division volunteer cadets above 18 years of age will be employed. They should be employed in small cohesive groups of eight to 20 under the supervision of Permanent Instructor Staff or/and an Associate NCC Officer.

For employment of volunteer cadets, State governments /district administration has to send the requisition through State NCC Directorates. Details will be coordinated at Directorate/Group Headquarters/Unit level with state government/local civil authority. Before the cadets are deployed for the duty, ground conditions and laid down requirements are to be ensured.

Read: Coronavirus Lockdown: Health Min Orders Home Delivery Of Drugs To CGHS Beneficiaries Aged Above 60

The NCC, which operates under Ministry of Defence, is the largest uniformed youth organisation of the country and has been engaged in conducting various social service and community development activities. The NCC cadets have been contributing to the national cause during natural calamities like floods, cyclone, etc since its inception.

As the nation continues to fight the challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic, the ESW, Ministry of Defence has also taken the initiative to mobilise services of Ex-Servicemen community as a part of augmentation of precious human resource to assist the State and District administration, wherever required.

Rajya Sainik Boards, Zila Sainik Boards are playing a dynamic role in identifying and mobilising maximum ESM volunteers to assist the State and District Administration in performing public outreach activities such as contact tracing, community surveillance, management of quarantine facilities or any such tasks assigned to them.

It is heartening to note the ESM across the country have risen to the occasion of ‘Service before Self' at a time when nation has made a clarion call and need them to fight this unique challenge. Ex-Servicemen are disciplined, motivated and well trained to operate in adverse situations and they have pan-India presence in all the districts and villages across the country.

In the state of Punjab, an organisation called ‘Guardians of Governance’, comprising 4,200 ESM, is assisting in data collection from all the villages. Chhattisgarh government has employed some ESM to assist the police. Similarly in Andhra Pradesh all the District Collectors have asked for ESM volunteers. In Uttar Pradesh, all Zila Sainik Kalyan Adhikaris are in touch with District Control Rooms and retired Army Medical Corps personnels have been identified and kept ready. In addition, Sainik Rest Houses are being readied in Uttarakhand to act as isolation/quarantine Centres if need arises. In Goa, a control room has been established and ESM have been asked to remain on standby for any assistance to the local administration.

Also Read: WHO Expects India To Take Aggressive Action To Combat COVID-19 Pandemic