'Pay for parade' system burns a hole in NCC cadets' pockets

Pay for parade system burns a hole in NCC cadets pockets
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Highlights

The three parties that ruled the governments in United Andhra Pradesh and newly formed Telangana were found tight-fisted in the case of the NCC, forcing colleges to implement a scheme of 'Pay for your parade’

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The fixed refreshment charges per cadet for each parade stood at Rs 6 until June 2, 2014

Currently the refreshment charges per cadet for each parade stands at Rs 16, for the past eight years

Hyderabad: Of late, raising concerns, the opposition parties in Telangana have been lashing out at the Centre for its policy of short-term recruitment called 'Agnipath' in the armed forces. But, back at home, the three parties that ruled the governments in United Andhra Pradesh and newly formed Telangana were found tight-fisted in the case of the National Cadet Corps (NCC), forcing colleges to implement a scheme of 'Pay for your parade".

NCC is an armed forces youth wing, a tri-services organisation of the Army, Navy and Airforce. School and college students voluntarily enroll for NCC. There is no obligation associated that they should join tri-forces after completing their NCC training. The main motto of NCC was to train young children from the high school level to colleges and universities. To train them into disciplined, patriotic citizens with leadership qualities. As part of the training, students are also provided with basic military training.

NCC cadets are not only known for jumping into rescue operations during disasters and village-level development activities, but their services are also utilised in crowd management on several occasions by local authorities. Apart from that, NCC cadets also served as the second line of defence throughout the 1965 and 1971 wars fought by the country.

Recognising the importance of NCC, the State governments have been releasing funds for decades to meet the refreshment charges provided after regular parades.

Speaking to The Hans India, an NCC officer of a women's college said, "cadets participate in regular parade practices twice or thrice a week. By the time of the formation of Telangana the refreshment charges provided to the NCC cadets was Rs 6 per cadet, for each parade."

Pleas for enhancing the refreshment charges were bought to the notice of the then governments several times, but all fell on deaf ears. The fixed refreshment charges per cadet for each parade stood at Rs 6 until June 2, 2014.

However, the issue was again broached with the newly elected government under TRS several times. This yielded some results and the government enhanced the charge to Rs 10. Currently the refreshment charges per cadet for each parade stands at Rs 16, for the past eight years.

Sarala (name changed), an NCC cadet of a women's college in Narayanaguda said, "As I am interested in getting into NCC and my parents are also supporting me, I paid Rs 3,500 per year to meet the refreshment expenses to the college."

An NCC officer from a high school located near Abids said, "I do not know whether the government released funds to meet the refreshment expenses of the NCC cadets. We have not got any funds from the government hence we are forced to collect funds from students to meet the expenses. There are around 100 cadets and they have to come for parades two to three times a week," he added.

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