One of the worst floods to affect the country adversely has been the Uttarakhand cloudburst which killed many and rendered several homeless. To help the people in need, Col Ajay Kothiyal, a philanthropist and Principal of Nehru Institute of Mountaineering came forward to help. He involved the local population and extensively involved himself in helping the flood-hit people of Uttarakhand. The floods left Uttarakhand ruined in every aspect, low employability in the area resulted in extreme poverty.People needed money, but the lack of jobs left them hopeless and helpless. Col. Ajay Kothiyal came up with the idea of organising training camps for the youth of Uttarakhand so that they can lead a better life and gain access to employment opportunities. The first camp was established in 2013, and the Youth Foundation registered itself as a charitable not-for-profit trust in 2015. Col Kothiyal observed that many people wanted to join the army eagerly, but they lacked the training. Training camps made sure that the participants would be groomed appropriately to join the military and other forces. Mental, physical and holistic grooming would be provided so that they can quickly clear the entrance examination. In 2013, out of thirty-two participants, 28 were recruited in the prestigious Garhwal Rifles of the infantry.
Pre-military training camp
This news spread like wildfire, and more members started joining the training camp. Till date Col. Kothiyal has trained 1900 participants, and they are serving the nation by joining BSF, CSF, Indian Army, Indian Navy or even Indian Air Force. The training camp helps to get the youth acquainted to the rigorous practices of the army man’s life. The not-for-profit trust, Youth Foundation functions out of six camps across various districts of Uttarakhand namely Dehradun, Rudraprayag, Chamoli, Srinagar and Uttarkashi. The training camps have also seen female participants of over three hundred and more than sixty of them are working with police forces currently. At present, there are over nine hundred members who have enrolled across all the centres in Uttarakhand. There is a team of dedicated instructors who look into the pre-recruitment training process and participants are extensively trained. Most members taken in are from the underprivileged section of the society. To effectively channelise their energy and make them socially responsible, the instructors make them undergo various tasks.
Their areas of intervention primary are Pre-army Recruitment Training Camp, Medical Camps and Helping Hands. Medical camps are set across remote villages and cities in Uttarakhand where reputed doctors from AIIMS are roped in to help in provide medication to critical patients. Medication for critical ailments are also taken care of by the Youth Foundation and in such cases, they are sent to Delhi for treatment. Once the patient in sent to Delhi, their entire responsibility is borne by the Youth Foundation. Helping Hands are for cases where the Youth Foundation provides support and help to the ones in need. For example, an old lady was left deserted with her small grandson after the cloudbursts. The Youth Foundation funds the education of her grandchild.
Col. Ajay Kothriyal has majorly funded this trust, yet there get minimal funding from other organisations as well. When The Logical Indian spoke to Suraj Negi, team in-charge of Youth Foundation he said, “In our state, people want to serve the country but the lack the knowledge of how to go about it. Our camps help in making them socially aware and improve their stamina. In the long run, it will boost the economy of the state as the recruits will send their saving home.”
To know more about the organisation, visit their page Youth Foundation
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