Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday urged the youth of the country to join the National Cadet Corps saying there was no better training ground for them and it was the way for developing the spirit of “camaraderie, adventure and discipline”.
Dr. Singh, who took salute at the annual Prime Minister's NCC Rally and witnessed a display by the various wings of the Corps, spoke about how the NCC has come to “embody leadership, duty, courage and service.”
“For me, personally,” Dr. Singh said, “this occasion (NCC Parade) has been an annual rite of renewal in the past 10 years. It renews my faith in the country, the values we stand for, in the youth I see before me getting ready for tomorrow’s responsibilities and therefore the future of our country.”
Stating that NCC embodies values for national unity, the Prime Minister said he felt reassured that the “future of the country was bright” if the destiny of the national was in the hands of the youth such as those in the Corps. “The energy, vitality and enthusiasm of our youth, all of which was on display today, augur well for our nation.”
Dr. Singh also spoke about the changing aspirations of the youth. “Youth today are not only aware and ready to articulate their views but are also willing and prepared to participate in shaping our polity and society in a way that responds to their aspirations. This is an extremely positive development,” he said.
Describing “aware and engaged youth” as a force that can truly transform our country and enable it to get rid of poverty, disease, underdevelopment and ignorance, he said for such change “we must follow what Mahatma Gandhi said: `We must become the change we want to see’.”
He also recalled the “immense contribution of the NCC in nation building and social harmony” and in particular made a mention of how it contributed in providing disaster relief in Uttarakhand and Orissa last year.
Recalling the contribution of the NCC in promoting the common values of “humanism, patriotism and selfless service”, Dr. Singh said it has also worked in the area social empowerment by helping in the fight against AIDS and female foeticide and promoting environmental awareness.