‘No future in Agniveer’
Mahipal Singh, son of a head constable of Rajasthan Police, always wanted to be in the armed forces. So after he passed out of school, he attempted the National Defence Academy officers’ training school test four times but did not succeed as he was not good at maths. But he did not lose hope, finally applying for the airmen post in January 2020. He started focussing on his physical fitness, even joined a training academy in Jaipur, for which he spent close to Rs 2 lakh. After going through the entire selection process, which lasted over a year, his name finally appeared on the merit list in May 2021. But the third wave of Covid delayed the next stage. The IAF kept giving administrative reasons for withholding the final result before the sudden announcement of the Agnipath scheme. Mahipal now says the air force cheated him by giving false assurances. He also does not want to join the Agniveers for he fears that after four years he will have no future career. “I have no intention of applying as an Agniveer, as the service does not give you any assurance about your future. I will most likely have to retire at 26 and in four years of service I don’t think I will gain any professional skill that will be able to help me in the future,” he says.