Srinagar: Kashmir is witnessing an overwhelming response to the army's recruitment rallies. The recruitment drive is a boon for the Valley's youth who have been brought up under the shadow of militancy, it gives them an opportunity for jobs and a regular life.
Last week, 146 young men took the oath to serve the nation in the best of army's tradition. They are the latest batch of soldiers of the Jammu and Kashmir light infantry regiment, who have completed 42 weeks of strenuous training. The passing out parade today was attended by over 1,000 relatives of the young soldiers.
"We are very proud of ourselves and our officers who trained us so well, we are proud to join the Indian Army," said Ashiq Hussain Ganai, a recruit from Anantnag district.
"It is a proud moment for me, this will give me an opportunity to do something great for myself and for the country," said Zahid Ahmad Khan, a young soldier from the Kulgam district.
The army says more young men from the Valley are now joining as it is a stable and dignified career.
Its recruitment rallies are drawing increasing response across the state. Unemployment in the state is one of the main reasons that the youth want to join the army.
Earlier this year, 20,000 aspirants turned up to fill 55 vacancies of Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry Battalion of Territorial Army in Kashmir. Last month, 34,000 candidates registered themselves for a ten-day army recruitment rally for Jammu region.
"I know it is a very tough training, you have achieved this with your hard work, in the future also, you have to keep on training hard to make your regiment and unit proud," said Brigadier Suresh Chawan- Commandant of Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry Unit.