BHOPAL (Madhya Pradesh): It is 3 pm on Wednesday and boys aspiring to join the Indian Army have already started arriving at Lal Parade Ground in the city.
A 12-day recruitment rally under Agnipath scheme is scheduled to begin at the Motilal Nehru Stadium on the grounds of Lal Parade on Thursday. About 50,000 boys and men aged between 17.5 and 23 years from Bhopal and surrounding eight districts will try their luck at the rally.
Mahesh Yadav, 21, from Betul told Free Press that he had been preparing for the past three months. Mahesh is undeterred by the fact that if recruited, he would be able to serve only for four years. 'Chahe chaar din hon ya chaar saal, desh sewa to kar sakenge,' he said.
Inside the stadium, preparations are afoot for the rally. Tents have been erected for medical tests and verification of documents. The waiting area has been divided into nine zones - one each for each district namely - Bhopal, Rajgarh, Vidisha, Hosghangabad, Sehore, Raisen, Betul, Chhindwara and Harda.
About 150 army officers led by a colonel and 100 policemen will be handling the affairs. The applicants will be first subjected to a physical measurement test, where their height and chest will be measured. Those who qualify will have to run a distance of 1.6 kilometres in 5 minutes 30 seconds or less. They will also have to meet the minimum stipulations with regard to pull-ups and balancing. The documents of those who clear this stage will be verified and if found in order, they would be called for a medical test the next day. Those medically fit will have to appear in a written examination in January next year.
Military officers present at the spot told Free Press that recruitments would be made for posts of Agniveer GD, Agniveer Technical, Agniveer Clerk and Agniveer Tradesmen.
'The final merit list will be prepared at national level to fill about 50,000 posts all over the country,' an official said. He said that 3,000 applicants had been called on the first day while 5,000 each would be attend the rally on remaining 10 days.