It is not every day that one gets to ride an Army tank and experience a soldiers life, but school children from Mumbai did just that in Jammu and Kashmir, courtesy the Indian Army which gave them the opportunity through Know Your Army initiative.
Lt Gen R R Nimbhorkar, AVSM, SM, VSM General Officer Commanding of the Nagrota-based White Knight Corps, said the unique programme, which comprised 138 students, four principals and 19 teachers from nine Mumbai schools, enabled students to experience life in the Army.
A tour of the border areas was organised for students and teachers from various schools of Mumbai recently.
They visited Jammu, Rajouri and Poonch districts as part of a week-long tour of the northern state during which they participated in a number of cultural exchange programmes with local schools and interacted with Army personnel.
The students were exposed to a large spectrum of activities under the theme Know Your Army, Gen Nimbhorkar, General Officer Commanding, 16 Corps of Indian Army, said.
The tour started with an experience of a tank ride that brought in a real sense of adventure and thrill for the students. They were also shown a wide range of weaponry used by the Indian Army. The children also witnessed some real action through a variety of demo drills.
Army soldiers displayed their agility and skill by demonstrating drills that they regularly practice in counter insurgency and counter operations roles, including slithering, casualty evacuation, house clearance and rush drill.
The experience showed the young minds how Indian Army soldiers braved tough conditions every day in their endeavour to keep peace in the region, Gen Nimbhorkar said.
They also had a chance to interact with local students studying in Army Goodwill Public School, Rajouri, which is managed by the Army. Local students interacted heartily with their counterparts from Mumbai and participated in cultural programmes, debate and quiz competitions, he said.