Vikram Singh Rathod, 18, of remote Datravada village in Rajgarh district, about 140km from state capital, wanted to be an Army man right since he was a kid. But given the financial conditions at his home (his father is a marginal farmer), Vikram was not too sure that he would ever get the chance.
But, an initiative by the Rajgarh district administration to provide free training under centrally sponsored Star Scheme made Vikram’s dream possible. He joined the force last week.
"I’m highly excited at the thought of serving my nation. It is also true that if I had not made it to the Army, I would have had to look for some petty job to support my family financially as I’m only a Class 10 pass," Vikram told HT over telephone.
Vikram’s is not only success story. In fact, he is one among the 36 youth from the backward Rajgarh district to clear the tough army recruitment process recently, thanks to help provided by the Star training centre in the district.
More importantly, 24 of these 36 youngsters are from the below poverty line (BPL) category. The other 12 are also from modest financial background. This is the first time that such bulk recruitment to Army has come from the district, collector Anand Sharma told HT. He said 52 youths from the district passed the physical tests. But they were worried that they would not be able to clear the written test without proper guidance.
"We enrolled them in the Star scheme of the central government and in the seven weeks of training, 36 of 52 youths cleared the test. It was a huge success,' Sharma said.
Star -- a skill certification scheme towards enhancing employability of the youth -- is run by the National Skill Development Council (NSDC) and is implemented by state governments through district-level skill training centres.
The training for the Army aspirants in Rajgarh was conducted from June 7 to July 25. Rahul Yadav of Chondapura, who was also one of the trainees to be selected in the technical wing of Army, said the training was immensely helpful especially as it was free of cost.
"My parents are labourers and they could not have afforded to get me any kind of paid training," Rahul told HT. He expressed gratitude to the district administration as the training centre manager SC Jain.