Updated: September 30, 2021 7:49:41 am
After a turbulent year when Covid-19 disrupted the training of young soldiers at the over 200-year-old army unit — the Madras Engineers Group (MEG) and Centre — in Bengaluru, a batch of 240 trainee soldiers featured in a passing out parade held at the centre in East Bengaluru Wednesday.
The passing out parade was held a day ahead of MEG Day. However, with Covid restrictions still in place, the parade could not be witnessed by the families.
Brigadier TPS Wadhwa, Commandant MEG and Centre, told The Indian Express the passing out batch of 2021 were trained under difficult conditions created by the Covid-19 pandemic which restricted group activities.
“Due to Covid-19, we had to stop the training as well. The get-togethers and accumulative training activities had to stop. The swimming and water-related activities, which are crucial to the training, was stopped due to the pandemic. By July when things normalised, we deployed one instructor for 10-15 boys who had to wear masks and gloves,” he said.
During the first and second waves of the pandemic, the MEG Centre set up quarantine facilities and a Covid Care Centre (CCC) for 500 soldiers and their families. “Barring three mild cases of Covid, nothing major was reported. We assured our 500 soldiers, their families and children that they would be safe,” Brigadier Wadhwa said. With vaccinations, the last two months have been normal again at the Centre, the commandant said.
The 240 trainee soldiers who took part in the passing out parade will join different units of the MEG across the country.
The MEG and Centre will celebrate MEG Day on September 30 to commemorate the raising of two pioneering companies in 1780 by the British. “We pick up raw Kannadigas and turn them into professional soldiers,” Brigadier Wadhwa said.
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