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Ulfat Khan’s journey from remote border village to national limelight; wishes to join defence forces

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Jammu, Feb 5 (PTI) Hailing from a remote village in north Kashmir’s border town of Uri, senior cadet captain Ulfat Khan of 1, Jammu and Kashmir Naval Unit NCC wants to follow the footsteps of her father and join the defence forces to serve the country.

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Ulfat (21) created history by becoming the first-ever female cadet selected as parade commander at the Prime Minister’s Rally during the Republic Day camp, bringing laurels to the Union Territory.

She was a part of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) cadets who were felicitated by Lt Governor Manoj Sinha at the Raj Bhawan here on Monday after their return from New Delhi.

During the Republic Day camp, Ulfat's performance earned her the prestigious title of the ‘Best Commander’ along with the ‘DG Commendation Medal Certificate’, highlighting her leadership qualities and dedication to service. “It was an honour for me to be the guard commander of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is really a big thing for a girl who had come from a remote village and all credit for this goes to the Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh directorate which polished my skills over the past three years,” Ulfat told PTI.

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Daughter of Assistant Sub-Inspector in the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), B A Khan, she said the experience of the Republic Day camp was "extraordinary".

“We went there and faced selection for ‘Kartavya Path’, PM Rally and the Guard of Honour. I led as guard commander and everyone appreciated our work,” she said.

Selected from a pool of 2,274 NCC cadets from 28 states and Union Territories and from 17 directorates across the nation, Ulfat's journey from a remote background to a national achiever is a testament to her determination and resilience.

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Born in Baramulla district's Uri in 2002, Ulfat pursued her schooling in various Kendriya Vidyalayas across Delhi, Jharkhand and Odisha before joining GCW Gandhinagar for her higher education. Her impressive array of NCC camps includes Nau Sainik Camp (NSC), Special National Integration Camps (SNIC), Mini Sailing, and Combined Annual Training Camp (CATC), where she honed her skills and leadership abilities.

“I am planning to join defence forces like my father to serve the country,” Ulfat, a resident of the Salamabad village of Uri, said, urging the youth of Jammu and Kashmir to have confidence and faith in themselves for becoming successful.

“This year, I am completing my graduation from the Government College for women, Gandhi Nagar (Jammu), and my three-year term with the NCC is also coming to an end. I will pursue my dream of becoming a soldier for the country,” she said.

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Sinha interacted with the NCC cadets who shared their experiences of the march on ‘Kartavya Path’ and their at the camp.

“I want youths to hold the reins of change because the youth is the only power that is future oriented, in sync with reality and equipped with skills to contribute in the journey of Viksit Bharat,” he said.

Additional Director General (ADG) NCC Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh Major General Rajesh Kumar Sachdeva was also all praise for Ulfat and said all the cadets worked very hard for the last three months in the run up to the Republic Day camp in Delhi.

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“First, the cadets were provided training at their respective places, and then they were taken to the NCC training academy, where 122 were selected among 30,000 cadets and sent to the RD Camp in Delhi.

“We are proud of their impressive performances. We came first in dance, armed forces induction as 30 of our cadets joined as officers (in armed forces), 500 were selected as agniveers and 60 to the police force. Our directorate also secured the second position in innovation while it came overall fifth in cultural programmes,” he said.

Major General Sachdeva said Ulfat’s achievement serves as a testament to her exceptional leadership and dedication to the NCC.

“Ulfat’s journey exemplifies the spirit of ‘Nari Shakti’ and serves as a beacon of inspiration for aspiring cadets across the nation. Her historic accomplishment at the Republic Day Camp reaffirms the power of dedication, perseverance, and the limitless potential of women in the defence forces,” he said. PTI TAS MNK TAS MNK MNK

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