NCC offers services of cadets for manning helplines, distributing relief material; veterans also mobilised for assistance

NEW DELHI: The National Cadet Corps has offered the services of its cadets to civilian authorities for tackling the coronavirus outbreak in India and has issued guidelines for their employment in tasks such as manning helplines, distributing medicines and relief material, community assistance and data management. Even the veteran community has been mobilised to help the government in contact tracing, management of quarantine facilities and in assisting the police.

The defence ministry has also mobilised the services of the veteran community to assist the government.

Rajya Sainik Boards and Zila Sainik Boards are identifying and mobilising maximum ex-servicemen volunteers to assist the state and district administration in performing public outreach activities such as contact tracing, community surveillance, management of quarantine facilities or any such tasks assigned to them.

In Punjab, an organisation called ‘Guardians of Governance’, comprising 4,200 veterans, are assisting in data collection from all the villages. The Chhattisgarh government has employed some ex-servicemen to assist the police. Similarly in Andhra Pradesh all the District Collectors have asked for veteran volunteers. In Uttar Pradesh, all Zila Sainik Kalyan Adhikaris are in touch with District Control Rooms and retired Army Medical Corps personnels have been identified and kept ready. In addition, Sainik Rest Houses are being readied in Uttarakhand to act as isolation or quarantine centres if the need arises. In Goa, a control room has been established and ex-servicemen have been asked to remain on standby for any assistance to the local administration.

Under its “Exercise NCC Yogdan”, the NCC has offered a helping hand to civilian authorities to tackle the COVID-19 situation by extending the services of its cadets, the defence ministry said on Thursday. It has issued guidelines for temporary employment of its cadets to augment relief efforts and functioning of various agencies involved in battling the pandemic.

“The tasks envisaged for NCC cadets include, manning of helpline or call centres, distribution of relief materials, medicines, food and essential commodities, community assistance, data management and queue and traffic management,” the ministry said.

According to the guidelines, cadets cannot be employed in handling law and order situations or for active military duties or at hot spots.

Only ‘Senior Division’ volunteer cadets above 18 years of age will be employed. “They should be employed in small cohesive groups of eight to 20 under the supervision of Permanent Instructor Staff or/and an Associate NCC Officer,” the ministry said.

For employment of volunteer cadets, state governments or the district administration has to send the requisition through State NCC Directorates. Details will be coordinated at the Directorate or Group Headquarters or unit level with the state government. “Before the cadets are deployed for the duty, ground conditions and laid down requirements are to be ensured,” the ministry said.

The NCC, which operates under the defence ministry, is the largest uniformed youth organisation of the country and has been engaged in conducting various social service and community development activities. The NCC cadets have helped in natural calamities like floods and cyclones.

The defence ministry on Wednesday said that about 25,000 NCC cadets are being mobilised to provide necessary local assistance.

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