Manipur’s Yumnam ajudged best NDA cadet

May 31st, 2008 - 3:26 pm ICT by admin  

By Ritu Sharma
Khadakwasla (Maharashtra), May 31 (IANS) What set Manipur’s Romen Yumnam apart from the 286 gentlemen cadets who were commissioned as armed forces’ officers at the passing out parade at the National Defence Academy here Saturday was the fact that he was the first from the northeastern state to be awarded the President’s Gold Medal for merit in academics and sports. Not only that - this champion NDA boxer was also the first from the region to command a passing out parade.

A recipient of the Best Army Cadet medal, Yumnam and six other Manipuris of the 114th course are the only ones from the state to be commissioned as officers in the armed forces. Seven others from the state are also enrolled in the academy.

“There have been recruits (soldiers) from the region, but I am the first commissioned officer from my village. It feels good when the people look up to you as role model,” said Yumnam as his proud parents looked on. He belongs to Langmeidong village in Manipur, a state plagued by insurgency

His parents could not speak Hindi or English. But their happiness was evident in the smile on their faces and the glint in their eyes.

“My father is a farmer and it was due to his him that I am where I am. Notwithstanding our modest means, he sent me to a residential school in Imphal and then to the Sainik School in Imphal,” said Yumnam, who is the eldest of three brothers.

“I was determined to get here. If you do hard work, the results will follow,” he added matter of factly.

Manipur, bordering Myanmar (Burma), has over two dozen active rebel groups pushing demands ranging from secession to maximum autonomy. More than 10,000 people have been killed in insurgency-related violence in Manipur during the past decade.

“I know the situation (back home) is not good but the people want to do something about it,” Yumnam said.

Yumnam has opted for the Indian Army and will now go to Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehradun for further training.

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