Though Rajagopalan Varadarajan, student of Venkat International Public School, had joined the National Cadet Corps (NCC) just to kill time, the experiences he has had during NCC camps has kindled his hope of joining the Armed Forces. He was one of the cadets from the State who participated in the Republic Day Parade in Delhi.

All the NCC cadets, who represented the State, met Chief Minister Siddaramaiah here on Tuesday.

From among those who participated in the Republic Day Parade, five cadets from Karnataka and Goa Directorate — Rajagopalan Varadarajan, Anirudh G. Rao, Vybhav Pai, Soumya G. Hegde and Arya Bhandarkar — bagged medals.

The Karnataka and Goa Directorate also bagged the first place in the National Integration Awareness Presentation for the second consecutive year.

Rajagopalan Varadarajan told The Hindu that this was the second time he was participating in the Republic Day Parade. “Going back to participate was a rare opportunity. I am planning to appear for the entrance exam to get into the Armed Forces, which has been a childhood dream,” he said.

Arya, who won a gold medal and a baton in the Best Cadet Junior Wing (Girls) category said they were put through rigorous preparations for over five months for the Republic Day Parade. “It was amazing to interact with the cadets from across the country. It was also a great learning experience… so much to learn about our own country,” she said, and added that she now plans to participate in the NCC’s Youth Exchange programme.

Lt. Col. P.G. Nimbalkar, Contingent Commander, said the NCC cadets “performed excellently”. “We were in the middle rank initially. The cadets performed well and we were able to bag the third place,” he said.

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