Hyderabad: For the first time, a cadet from Telangana Social Welfare Residential Sainik School (TSWRSS) in Rukmapur got selected to join the National Defence Academy (NDA).

Cadet P. Ashok Sai successfully cleared the UPSC entrance exam and further qualified in the interview conducted by Services Selection Board (SSB) of the Ministry of Defence to become the first cadet from TSWRSS to join the Indian Air Force.

Cadet Ashok said that his teachers and director had always encouraged him to work hard instead of taking shortcuts. "Our day in school starts at 4 am and ends at around 10:30pm. Apart from the written exam, we also have to be physically fit so our teachers used to provide us 2.5 hours of training every day morning and evening," he said.

Colonel Ravindra Reddy, founder director of TSWRSS believes that Ashok's achievement has fulfilled the purpose of starting a sainik school for children from marginalized communities of Telangana. He said that the achievement will boost the morale of the staff and other cadets and will motivate them to work even harder. "Cadet Ashok comes from a village and humble family background. He has worked to clear the exam and interview," he added. The 17-year-old Ashok's father is disabled and his mother is a tailor.

TSWRSS was a unique project, one of a kind in the country that was started in 2018 in Telangana. "The social welfare schools in Telangana were performing really well. But despite several efforts, none of the cadets were able to get into the Indian Armed Forces. So we decided to start a separate sainik school for children from marginalized communities," says Colonel Reddy.

"It has been three years and we are proud that five cadets from the school could crack the UPSC written exam. Unfortunately, only one could clear the SSB interview. This achievement will definitely boost the confidence of other cadets and the staff of our school," he added.

Ronal Ross, the secretary of Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TSWREIS) said that the sainik schools functioning under the Ministry of Defence do not give much representation to children from marginalized communities. "A social welfare school at Rukmapur was converted into a sainik school in the academic year 2018-19 with the approval of the Telangana government which would be on par with the sainik schools of the Ministry of Defence," said Ross.

Ross also expressed confidence that with this maiden entry into NDA, sainik school Rukmapur would start sending many more to join NDA.

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