Members of an all-girl school marching band at the NCC Republic Day camp, currently toiling hard to get their moves perfect for the Rajpath parade, say the tough training experience makes them relate to the inspirational story of Phogat sisters in ‘Dangal’.
“We wake up at 4 AM and after getting ready, go for our training regimen. Waking up in this harsh cold is the toughest part, and my fellow cadets still rouse me out of my bed. But, this whole camp experience has taught us so much and made us tougher.
“We still remember the first time we went for our rehearsal on Rajpath, and it was cold and misty. But, the moment we stepped on to the famed road, pride overtook physical discomfort. And, the sighting of India Gate emerging from the mist, that feeling cannot be described,” says Gauri Aggarwal of Birla Balika Vidyalaya, Pilani.
Gauri, a Class XI student, is among the three leaders in the 51-member band.
The other two girls, who can be seen twirling their shining batons, leading the all-girl band in smart attire, early morning on Rajpath these days, are Toshani Singh of Class XI and Samriddhi of Class IX.
“We are training hard here in the camp, and so much of activities here. So, we haven’t seen the movie ‘Dangal’, but reading in papers and seeing on television and internet so much…, we find resonance with their inspiring story,” Gauri told PTI.
The Birla Balika Vidyalaya NCC band has been representing the school on the Rajpath for over 50 years. It has already performed in front of Vice President Hamid Ansari and Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre at the ongoing Republic Day NCC camp at Delhi Cantonment.
“Initially, I was very scared, while spinning the metal baton in the air. It used to slip from our hands in the beginning and also hit us on our face, thankfully without leaving any mark.
“Now, we have mastered it and twirling it gives us a surge of confidence. We are waiting with bated breath to walk on the Rajpath on R-Day,” says Toshani, who hails from Saharsa district in Bihar.
Samriddhi, the youngest among the three band leaders, says, “Out of 51 members, 40 are from Class IX and the rest from Class XI. We were selected through a screening procedure at the school.”
The NCC, as part of its expansion plan, seeks to take the percentage of girl cadets from current over 28 to 30 per cent.
Total 2,068 cadets, including 696 girl cadets, drawn from the 17 directorates covering all the states and Union territories are participating in the camp.