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Ramakanta Biswas

Dhenkanal: Once served the country with blood and sweat, their passion and dedication to safeguard the sovereignty of the nation is as strong as ever. This is a story of a group of former servicemen who are providing free training to youths in tribal-dominated Kankadahad area of Dhenkanal district with an aim to help build the next line of defence for the nation's frontiers.

The jawans who served in various positions in the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force have now turned instructors to provide training to local youths aspiring to join the armed forces. They have set up a training camp at Bhalutangar to nurture the local youths.

Hundreds of youths from Dhenkanal, Keonjhar and Jajpur have joined the camp and are receiving training to join the defence forces. Apart from physical training, the ex-veterans are also training the youths to crack the army recruitment examinations.

“When I retired in 2018, I saw many local youths have good physiques, but due to lack of facilities they are not able to pursue a career in serving the country at the frontiers. I then held discussion with some former army jawans to impart training to the youngsters to help them join the defence. We started the training camp in November,” said an ex-serviceman.

“As our area does not have proper training facilities, so we planned to begin the camp to provide training to the youths and make them eligible to get through the recruitment,” said another jawan who retired in 2018.

Narrating his experience, an Air Force retiree said, “The youths have the spirit to serve the nation. Apart from making them physically fit, I also prepare them to crack the exams."

The local youths too are all praise for the ex- servicemen and hope that under their guidance they will fulfil the dream of joining the armed forces.

“A complete training needed for a jawan is being provided to us. We are receiving the training for the last one month. We have to report a 6.30 am everyday. Various physical trainings like long jump, high jump, crocodile race, roping, 100 metre sprinting are given here,” said a youth.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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