More than 700 boys from Gujarat have joined the Indian Army this month, the largest strength to join the armed forces from the state this year. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthplace Vadnagar of Mehsana, too, has offered many young cadets to the Army this year.
The recent recruitment camp was held at Sabarkantha where 29,150 boys appeared for the tests from various towns and districts of the state.
Out of the 29,150 boys who appeared, only 3600 passed the physical tests and out of these only 1558 cleared the medical tests and were approved for written examination. After the written examination, only 722 passed who were selected by the Army.
These selected candidates who come from humble backgrounds are already considering themselves Army jawans awaiting the start of their year’s long training.
Jignesh Thakor stands out among this batch of over 700 boys as he gives the credit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for inspiring him to join Army. Jignesh is also the first candidate in last few recruitments, to be coming from Vadnagar — Modi’s birthplace.
“I come from Modiji’s birthplace and I see it as a moral responsibility to believe in the call he made for youths to join armed forces. His life inspires me to serve the country. And I chose to do it through the Indian Army,” said Jignesh whose father is a farm labourer. Five other boys from Vadnagar also cleared the exams this year.
Vikas Chaudhary (20) from Kaasa village (Patan) said, “The call to fight for terrorism motivated me to join Army. None from family is in the Army, but I decided to change the trend and join a force that is helping this country to fight terrorism. We only talk about terrorism but not act.” Chaudhary is a 12th pass who decided to quit doing graduation to join Army right from this age.
Dilip Joshi (18) from Shirwada village (Banaskantha), one of the young candidates in his batch said, “I wanted to join police force, but I realized that I want to do a job of respect and honour which police don’t get. When I first told my family, they got scared however I am determined to work. Once I get the training in arms I will become a fine shooter in the force”.
Rohitkumar Rabari (20) is an exception of all sorts in his community of Rabaris who are primarily into animal husbandry. Rohit says, “Since my childhood I wanted to join Army. I used to watch movies made on Army and the movie Lakshya made my resolve got stronger. I wanted to change the trend of my community from traditional business of animal husbandry and work for Army”.
The Army recruitment board officials from Gujarat have observed an increase in interest among the youth to join Army, compared to last few years.
A senior official from Army recruitment board said, “The footfalls in the recruitment camps have considerably increased compared to last few years when hardly 10,000 boys even lesser showed interest. 49% come from north Gujarat while least come from south Gujarat. A larger number of boys come from tribal districts. However, Dangs which is a tribal district offered none so far”.
The Army board has also observed that the boys clear the physicals, but they get rejected due to the performance in written exams and health requirements specified by the Army.
The official added, “While there are a large number of applicants, only a small percentage is able to join the force due to lack of education and fitness in villages of Gujarat. The boys come from vernacular mediums and their knowledge on various subjects is poor.”
The selected candidates, however, stated that they easily clear physical tests due to active sports in schools. However many failed in the written test which is in Hindi language, as most of them don’t learn Hindi in village schools.