JHARKHAND: Driven by a desire to save the rural youth of his state, Jharkhand, from various forms of addiction, Ravi Shankar Sahni, a former Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) constable, took a resolve some five years ago — Mujhe Kuch Karna Hai (I want to do something). And what he did, gave a new direction to the lives of these youngsters. He started training and guiding them so that they could join armed/paramilitary forces and serve the country.
Sahni started the initiative from Simdega district while he was on leave. It inspired several other serving personnel to join him and now, many of them belonging to the Army, the CISF, the Central Reserve Police Force, the Indo-Tibetan border Police and the state police are providing free tips to candidates appearing in recruitment drives conducted by these forces. The initiative has expanded to other adjoining places like Kolebira in Simdega and Ranchi. A new centre in Khunti will come up soon. More than 300 youths from Jharkhand have so far been successful.
According to Sahni, who took voluntary retirement last year, youths in the rural areas are interested in joining the armed forces, but are often unable to get through in the absence of guidance. Sahni aspires to take his initiative to every village. “My objective is to prepare the youths so that they can do the state and the country proud. The initiative is at a nascent stage, but very soon I will take it to a level from where my students would be able to go to any field of their choice,” said Sahni.
It all started in 2016 when Sahni was still employed with the CISF. Being a teacher before joining the force, he noticed that the youths in rural areas had potential but needed serious guidance to succeed in various fields. “I started training youths at Albert Ekka Stadium in Simdega whenever I came home on vacations. Within a few months of training, one of my students, Rakesh Kumar, got selected in the Indian Army. It was a big morale booster for me. I took the idea further to Kolebira and Ranchi,” he said.
There are now 10 people associated with the initiative, Sahni added. “The new selectees further motivate other candidates whenever they are on their vacation.” Old students also volunteer to take classes. One of Sahni’s students, Prem Raj Lakra, who got selected for the Army in 2018 and had come home to Ranchi on leave, said the candidates were motivated by trained personnel of the armed forces.
Currently, more than 50 candidates have registered for the training camp and more are coming every day. Classes are conducted from 5 am to 8 am every day. Apart from physical training, the youths also take free exams every Saturday and Sunday so that they do not have to face problems while appearing in recruitment drives. “Last year, more than 35 youths from this camp were selected during the recruitment drive conducted at Morhabadi Ground in Ranchi,” said Lakra.
Students are happy that they are getting quality training for almost free. “We get all kinds of guidance for the armed forces, from physical to medical and written tests. Preparatory exams are conducted every Sunday,” said Satyam Kumar, a Class XI student of Kendriya Vidyalaya in Ranchi. A registration fee of Rs 200 is taken in the beginning and one can continue the classes till he gets selected, Kumar said, adding he wanted to join the Army.
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The morale booster success
Sahni started the initiative in 2016 when he was still a constable with the CISF. He began training youths at Albert Ekka Stadium in Simdega whenever he went home on vacations. Within a few months, one of his students got selected in the Army. It was a big morale booster for Sahni who then started training in Ranchi, too.