A crematorium is a place where a person’s journey comes to an end, but 27 men from across the state are living in a crematorium in Sriganganagar district to train for launching their career in army.
The men, who could not find rented accommodations in Jaitsar village, are training under athletics coach Kulwant Singh to better prepare for army recruitment rally in the district.
The army will conduct a 7-day rally at Keshwanand Agriculture University stadium from July 13.
Singh, who trains them on physical activities without charging any fee, said it was a “service to the country’s men”.
The 28-year-old, who holds a diploma in athletics coaching from Patiala-based National Institute of Sports, said he started the training camp last year for men who could not afford to join academies. From his first batch, Singh said 24 out of 47 men were selected to join army.
“I realised that academies are fleecing poor men who often mortgage their land to pay fees. I thought I should help such men,” said Singh.
Bikaner’s Mukesh Godara, 18, said: “I feel scared (living in the crematorium) and chant ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ to ward off evil thought.” He said cremation was not done in the crematorium everyday but when a cremation took place, they can’t sleep well at the night.
Barmer’s Vijendra Singh Rathore, 20, echoed his views and said he was hopeful to clear the test to join the army as he was getting good training.
Sukhjeet of Sriganganagar said he heard about Singh’s training camp two months ago and decided to join it. “I couldn’t find a place to stay upon arrival in the village. So, decided to live at the crematorium with other boys.” He said they all sleep together on the corridor of a building in the cremation ground. “During rains, it becomes difficult for us to live in the open area.”