Do you have it in you?

Do you have it in you?

A few years ago, we saw slickly produced 30-second commercials on TV showing a life full of adventure, passion and fulfilment. The voiceover went: "The Indian Army: Do you have it in you?" This recruitment ad luring to Indian youth to join the armed forces apparently generated an enormous response.

Cut to present: everyone and his brother are talking about the new release Lakshya. Reviews say the movie has an inspiring story and is worth a watch. The character that Hrithik Roshan plays is of a confused young man, who has no idea of what he wants out of life. Wandering aimlessly in life, looking for purpose, he stumbles into the armed forces, not by choice but by happenstance. Soon, the armed forces transform him from being a purposeless young man into a mature adult with a goal in life.

So what is it about the armed forces that attracts and retains young, talented men? For one, unlike in few other countries where the military draft makes it mandatory to serve the armed forces for a certain period, joining the Indian Armed Forces is voluntary. In spite of this, the Indian Army is among the largest in the world. For another, a career in the armed forces is rather exciting. As an army man, you live in deserts, icy mountains, tropical jungles, plains, swamps and islands; you play sports, learn management skills, work on hi-tech computers and sophisticated technology, use the latest communications gadgets and lots more. Add to this the respect and authority that serving Officers command, both within the services and among civilians. Yet, perhaps the biggest reason why the armed forces attracts and retains the youth is the job satisfaction associated with a career in the Armed Forces – protecting your country gives you a sense of purpose and responsibility – in other words, the armed forces give you a lakshya.

For the last ten years, the Jidnyasa Trust has been organising an annual "Military Training Programme" in the city. Held under the guidance of Major (Retd.) Subhash Gawand, the programme is open to students of class VI, VII and VIII. One of the objectives of this training is to prepare its students for the competitive entrance tests such as National Defence Academy (NDA). Students are trained in military parade, air rifle shooting, self-defence, mountaineering, first aid, civil defence and aero-modelling. Group discussion session and public speaking will be organised to develop interpersonal skills.

One advantage of military training is that it inculcates the highest sense of discipline among its participants at a young age. It also aids improving general behaviour, develops stamina and achieves overall growth of young students.

Like last year, the training is being organised in association with P.E. Society’s English School and training sessions will be held in the school premises. The minimum prescribed weight of applicants is 30 kg and they should be at least 135 cm tall. The training sessions will be held every Sunday between 7.00 a.m. and 10.00 a.m. The first session begins on Sunday 27th June 2003 and the course will continue through March 2004. To enrol, contact Maj. (Retd.) Subhash Gawand, Trustee of Jidnyasa Turst, at P. E. Society’s English School, Mithbunder Road, Thane (East) at 7.00 a.m. on June 27, 2004.

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