Parentsí letters motivated me: Presidentís Gold Medal winner

What motivated Battalion Cadet Captain Bhojpal Shakya ó the winner of the President's Gold Medal ó throughout the intense training at the National Defence Academy (NDA) were the letters by his parents. His father is in the Navy, and his mother is a homemaker.

"Seeing my father in uniform, I developed an inclination towards the forces. What added to it was my time at RIMC, Dehradun. Training at NDA was a big challenge, but when there is no one to take care, one learns to take care of himself. My parents used to write letters to me and I derived motivation from these letters," said Shakya, an Army cadet of Echo Squadron, who is from Gwalior.

"At the academy, you get everything but for that you have to pursue it and then fate remains a secondary factor," said Academy cadet Adjutant Aditya Kohale of India Squadron, winner of the Silver Medal. A native of Chandrapur, his father Vilas Kohale, is an employee of the Public Works Department and mother Seema Kohale a teacher at a Zilla Parishad school.

"After having my Class 10, my father was transferred to Aurangabad and it was there that I developed a liking for the Armed Forces. I always wanted to be a medal winner and today, it is indeed a dream come true," he said. For Meena and Rakesh Chandel, Wednesday morning was the proudest moment of their life,when they saw their son, Battalion Cadet Captain Abhinandan Chandel bagging the Silver Medal at the PoP of the 123rd course.

"The fact that I received the medal in front of them is most important," said Chandel whose father is a pharmacist in Himachal Pradesh.

Chandel, who willgo back to his hometown from where he will head for the finishing academy in January, says he will miss Deccan and Kothrud ó the areas he loved to visit during his three-year stint at the NDA.

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