The month of May saw the largest number of men joining the armed forces from Gujarat so far this year. Among the 722 young cadets from the state who have joined the armed forces include six from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthplace, Vadnagar in Mehsana district, which has offered young cadets to the Army for the first time. The recent recruitment camp was held at Sabarkantha where 29,150 youths appeared for the physical tests from the state.
Out of the 29,150 young candidates who appeared, only 3,600 passed the physical tests and out of these only 1,558 cleared the medical tests and were approved for written examination. After the written examination, only 722 passed and were selected by the Army. The selected candidates, who come from humble backgrounds (their families are primarily into farming and animal husbandry), are awaiting the start of their year-long training.
Jignesh Thakor (20), among the six from Vadnagar who cleared the test, says Modi inspired him to join the Army. He said, “I come from Modi’s birthplace and I see it as a moral responsibility to believe in the call he made for youths to join the armed forces. His life inspires me to serve the country, but I chose to do it through the Indian Army.” Jignesh’s father is a farm labourer.
Vikas Chaudhary (20), from Kaasa village in Patan, said, “The call to fight for terrorism motivated me to join the Army. No one 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 has studied till Class 12. He decided to quit doing graduation to join the Army. Dilip Joshi (18), from Shirwada village in Banaskantha, said, “I wanted to join the police force, but I realised that I want to do a job of respect and honour which police don’t get. Once I get the training in arms, I will become a fine shooter in the force.”
The Army recruitment board officials from Gujarat have observed an increase of interest among the youth to join the Army, compared to the last few years. A senior official of the board said, “The footfalls in the recruitment camps have considerably increased compared to last few years when hardly 10,000 candidates, even lesser, showed interest.”
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