New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to late Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa, first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, on his birth anniversary while addressing the National Cadet Corps (NCC) Rally at Cariappa Ground in Delhi on Thursday.
"We are holding this event of Annual NCC rally at the ground named after Field Marshal KM Cariappa. In 1947, his wit and intelligence helped in gaining a decisive edge in the war. Today is his birth anniversary. I pay tribute to him on behalf of all our citizens," said Prime Minister Modi.
He also pointed out that there are immense opportunities for girls in NCC cadets. "There has been an increase of 35 per cent in our girl NCC cadets in the past few years. The nation needs your bravery and new opportunities are waiting for you. I see future officers in you all," he added.
Talking about the revamped gallantry award portal launched on January 25, PM Modi said, "The portal contains information about lives of gallantry medal awardees. I appeal to all the NCC cadets to visit the portal and keep engaged with it."
The Prime Minister appreciated the cadets for their discipline and dedication towards fulfilling their duties. He also informed that around one lakh NCC cadets are being trained by the Army, Navy and Air Force to serve in coastal and border areas of 175 districts.
"On August 15, last year, it was announced that NCC will be given new responsibilities in around 175 districts in the coastal and border areas. For this, around 1 lakh NCC cadets are being trained by Army, Navy and Air Force. Out of these, one third are girl cadets," PM Modi said.
Hailing NCC cadets for helping the government amid the COVID-19 pandemic, he said: "Be it the floods or any other calamity, NCC cadets helped the people of this country last year. During the corona pandemic, lakhs of cadets worked with the administration and society across the country. Their work is commendable."
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and the three armed service chiefs were also present on the occasion.
The Prime Minister wore an NCC cap, reviewed the March Past by NCC contingents and witnessed cultural performance during the event.