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Sunday, Dec 15, 2019

Selfless service: Once rejected by army, 40-yr-old coaches J&K youth

cities Updated: Nov 11, 2019 22:36 IST
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Hindustan Times, Bishnah
Jitender Singh Charak (centre) with his trainees in Bishnah tehsil of Jammu district.
Jitender Singh Charak (centre) with his trainees in Bishnah tehsil of Jammu district.(ht photo)
         

‘Go back India and Go back Indian Army’—this graffiti might have been a common sight in Kashmir, but a motivated man in Jammu, who could not don the olive green because of his short height, has become a ‘Dronacharya’ for youth from nearby villages in Bishnah border area of Jammu district.

Jitender Singh Charak, 40, trains and grooms youth including girls, from nearby villages to get selected in the Indian Army and other belt forces on a ditch-cum-bundh (DCB) here. Charak trains the youth to crack physical and written tests. He has so far helped over 600 youth join various security forces.

Lovingly called ‘Chachu’ by his trainees, Charak says, “I belong to Naugran village in Bishnah tehsil. Since 2014, more than 600 youth, including girls, trained by me have joined various forces. Presently, over 350 youth come for training twice a day for three hours each in the morning and evening.”

He recalls how a video made by a friend Sandeep Rattan Verma and circulated on the social media made him popular. When Charak’s trainees qualify physical tests, the remaining task of preparing them for written test comprising mathematics, reasoning and general knowledge is done by his friend Surjeet, a Jammu and Kashmir administrative services (JKAS) aspirant.

Changing lives of drugs addicts

Charak says Bishnah area was a safe haven for drug smugglers and drug addicts. “Many youth had fallen prey to ‘Chitta’ (heroin like substance) here. There are four such youth, whose parents brought them to me but now they are training for the belt forces. They come regularly and are focused on training and academics. Their lives have completely changed now,” says Charak.

Financial constraints

“I want to have certain gym equipments for developing strength among the trainees, proper lighting arrangements are also needed and then the race track needs improvement. However, without government help, I will not be able to arrange all these facilities on my own,” he says.

One of his trainees Sumit Singh, 17, says, “My elder brother Amandeep Singh joined the ITBP two years ago after Chachu trained him on this track. I got motivated and have decided to follow the footprints of my brother. I will surely wear the olive green.”

‘Should be encouraged by govt’

Col Ranveer Singh Jamwal, the first Indian to summit seven highest mountains across the seven continents, including the Mount Everest, says, “This young man is doing a selfless service and motivating youngsters to join the belt forces. I visit him whenever I get time and I know how strict he is with his trainees. He certainly needs encouragement by the state government.”