The Community Service Week started on 11th of September in DPS North Kolkata. Some students of the Bhagat house of DPS North Kolkata were taken to the army camp in Dunlop. The students were guided through the entire area by Major Gurgesh who spoke of serving in the army, his personal experiences and many other interesting topics. Questions, which were asked by the students, were efficiently answered by him.
On seeing the different models of boats, Utsav Das asked ‘’ Sir, why are these boats mainly used and how many types of boats are there?” Major Gurgesh replied,” Our department is of IWT or the Inland Water Transport. Our operations mainly deal with transporting troops, armed vehicles etc from one bank of the Ganga to the other. There are several kinds of boats. The one in use right now is RML. The ACV is a future concept model where the boat will be propelled by fan like rotating blades.”
Later, we were seated in a room and were allowed to ask questions.
Sourav Shaw asked “Every occupation we take on serves the nation in one way or the other. How does the army stand out in this field?”
The answer came “Serving in the army doesn’t necessarily mean staying at the borders and fighting off terrorists. In every extreme case where the CRPF or the state police fail to contain the situation, the army is called upon. As most of you must know, the operation “Raahat” in Uttarakhand was the greatest rescue operation ever carried out. Recently, in Haryana when riots broke out, only the army was able to contain the situation.”
Shilpa Poddar asked “There is a common belief that the Indian army consists of more men. Is there any scope for women empowerment?”
The Major replied “It cannot be denied that we receive fewer ladies as recruits. Most of this is due to social disbeliefs that are pre-existent in our country. However in the army, no discrimination takes place. In the academy where I was trained, the training which we went through, the lady trainees went through the same because when the enemy is going to shoot, he won’t discriminate between woman and man. It is our duty to make every citizen strong enough to take on the several duties we need them to do.”
The last question was asked by Sohini Mitra. She asked “What is the kind of training that the recruits go through before they are sent on duty?”
He replied, “The training which recruits go through is tough. It not only works on enhancing the physical capabilities of a person but also creates a sense of fraternity among soldiers. During the training sessions, we weren’t given the time to think. We had to be prompt. Whatever the Sergeant said, we had to do it by hook or by crook. We couldn’t question the commands even if they seemed irrational times. The training, thus strengthens our mind too.”
The Major then escorted us to one of the cargo boats where he told us about how the boat works. Delicious food was arranged for us. We ate while enjoying the scenery of the Ganges from the boat. One of the jawans demonstrated water skiing while we ate the food. We learned a lot. On the bus ride back to school, some of us even expressed our interests in joining the army.