Diwali Dhamaka – Chotta Commandos 

“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt, Great Speeches.

Are you guys wondering , why am I saying this and what I am going to write about?

Last week, I got a call from one of my  friends , asking if I can visit her “Chotta Commando” Diwali Camp and share my experiences about this…I was quite surprised and was wondering if I should really take it up and what am I going to do there!!! Anyways having received the invite, I thought let me go and see what really happens as part of Dhruv Defence Motivation Centre – Diwali Camp for Children

To my surprise, it was such a lovely Friday morning experience, where I saw a bunch of 50  kids with same uniform, having so much fun ,enthusiasm and sweating out doing Archery, Gun/Rifle Shooting., Martial Arts, Latti Khatti, Fire Fighting and what not!!!  I was so overwhelmed by what I saw there for about 1.5 hours and decided I should share my experiences and spread awareness of what Dhruv Defence Motivation Centre has been doing for the younger generation.

“You should always set goals for your kids and make them chase those goals. Keep challenging them and they will somewhere achieve.”  This is exactly what Rupali, who heads the overall execution of the project – Commando Training, firmly believes in while preparing the curriculum and designing the activities that needs to be part of the Diwali Camp for building the “Chotta Commandos”. She is dreaming to see her children in Olympics and believes in selecting that sport for her kids, which will help them in reaching the goals!!

Dhruv Defence Motivation Centre

Dhruv Defence Motivation Centre (DDMC) based in Balewadi, Pune is an organization that has been found in the year 2014 by Subodh Saikhedkar, Director and Rupali Saikhedkar, Executive Director of DDMC, with the aim of building a very strong, confident and fearless young generation. Their main objective is “Creating Tomorrow’s Responsible Citizens”, by developing self-capability, true sportsmanship, increased stamina and physical fitness for today’s children, in order to prepare them to be Cadets to work for the nation and society. Through their training, they believe in instilling qualities like discipline, self-confidence, courage, self-reliance and leadership, while inducing stamina and strength in them.

Rupali says that DDMC had its birth, when her son Dhruv turned 10 and she wanted to come up with this motivation centre for younger generation, with the idea of catering to what her son needs to be a strong and confident Cadet and spokesperson, and extend it to the entire community and nation.

While preparing the children to be self sufficient and handling disaster management, she also looks after the safety and service aspects of every camp that she undertakes. Her eye for detail and keen attention to the comfort of the participants in every educational tours, adventure camps and school events that the group conducts, is something that is rare to be found especially in today’s world, when people are heading to minimalistic human values.

Chotta Commando Diwali Camp

Chotta Commando Diwali Camp was a military based  camp for children, which held between 23rd Oct to 29th Oct ’17, at Aditya Horizon School & Jr.College, Baner. This was conducted under the supervision of competent people like Ex- Army personnel and Defence officers, India Coach for Archery, Disaster management and Fire fighting expert trainers and Doctors who can give First Aid training

The key activities of the Camp include:-

  • Drill (Army Parade)
  • Weapon Training
  • Physical Fitness
  • Martial Arts – Karate & Tile Breaking
  • Archery
  • Rescue Training & First Aid training
  • Latti Khatti (Silambham)
  • Disaster Management
  • Fire fighting training
  • Personality Development Session by Colonel
  • Gun/Rifle Shooting
  • Education visit to National Defence Academy (NDA)

Fees: 4000/- . Age Group: 6 to 10 yrs and Teenagers Batch: 12 yrs to 16 yrs

Commando T-shirts . Food and snacks were provided and Bus services were additional.



The 6 to 10 yrs kids were such a delight to watch and the enthusiasm that they showed in following instructions with such cute smile on their faces, was outstanding. The teenagers from classes 6 to 10 years were equally enthusiastic and overwhelmed with so much happiness for each of the activities conducted.

I happened to speak to some of the children and understood that kids were coming from all parts of Pune, travelling upto 20-22 kms, even from Hadapsar, Swargate etc… I could see the utmost happiness in each and every child who told me that they didn’t mind travelling in buses to come to the camp as they really liked the activities , to name a few, Archery , Rifle Shooting , Latti Khatti and Martial Arts etc. They were even very eager in showing me a demo of what they learnt and very happy clicking pictures too. While they were talking about their 7 days at the Camp, I could also see the delight in them, when they told how they are looking forward for the last day Educational visit to NDA.

It was really interesting to note that some of the kids were regulars who had attended DDMC’s summer camp and looking forward for the winter camp that is to be held in December. Few of the children who attended the camp are also surprisingly outstation kids from Mumbai and few who accompanied their cousins, when they came to Pune for Diwali vacation.

The uniqueness and highlight of the camp ,were  the efforts taken in ensuring that first aid  training was given to kids, by an actual demo by an expert doctor .To understand fire fighting , it was made sure that an educational visit to the fire station and museum was done , to see it directly from the experts.

Similarly, while training on disaster management, different types of human rescue patterns at various situations were practically taught, so that the kids know how to help others when faced such situations. And the kids were so excited when they were describing about all these outdoor activities!!



DDMC has been arranging summer camps and winter camps for last few seasons of 2016 and 2017. They have also been conducting regular Commando Training on every weekend. Adventure Camps, Sports Camp, Workshops like Fire Fighting Training and NDA Educational trips are few other interesting activities conducted on regular intervals. DDMC has also been in the news for conducting activities on social awareness and community development, doing Raksha Bandhan for the Jawans etc.

Interestingly, DDMC have had children of top officials of Pune like Inspector General of Police, Commissioner of Police and senior military officials attending these camps ,along with other kids like any other ordinary child. However when she speaks about it , I could make out that these things do not get her on top of the world, and still Rupali stays so humble and focused towards her core objective of women and children empowerment!!

What’s in it for me?

So my 2 cents here is that in today’s world, parents are totally crazy about enrolling their children of age group 5 to 10 yrs, in some summer camps in the month of April – May, somehow trying to push them out of the house so that they get some free hours without them.  If not any camps, these kids are always in their digital world of watching television or playing games in Ipad, mobile or video Games… And I am no exception to this, as I have done these camps to my kids for couple of years, until they strongly resisted not going for such camps. And they are also typical current generation kids, hooked on to gadgets…

I have sailed through this across the three cities that I have lived Chennai, Bangalore and Pune and most of these camps are Art and Craft based. Of late, maybe Zumba and dance has been some additions though..

However, what I felt was different about these camps were that the activities and curriculum are well thought through, keeping in mind, the ability to improve the physical fitness, the self-defence capability, and with the idea of building a stronger younger generation. And this was resonated well when I had a word with the Defence coaches of this camp, who were happy that children are showing interest towards such physical fitness camps , rather than the usual Arts and Crafts Camp. High time to start focusing on such physical fitness camps!!

This was a total eye opener and made me realize that I should start doing something like this for my 10 year old son, who is definitely interested in such physical activities.Especially when these camps are happening in the same vicinity, literally my neighbourhood!

While Rupali was talking about the success stories of the Diwali Dhamaka camp and her 55 small commandos with pride, I could clearly see that deep rooted passion and sense of satisfaction in conducting such programs ,in a very structured manner with the intention of giving the best to the  kids ,  the new generation children.

Diwali Camp 1


Rupali is already excited and started planning for DDMC’s winter camp for the last week of December – 23rd to 29th December 2017

So Pune moms, oops parents ,gear up and try something , interesting and different for your kids!! I am in , how about you all?

You may please contact Rupali for any queries on camps and other social activities:-

Rupali Saikhedkar – Director
Phone :-  +91 92247 88399 or +91 94033 33773
Email :

Brand Collaboration – Dhruv Defence Motivation Centre

Photo Story and Written by – Lakshmi Francis



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2 thoughts on “Diwali Dhamaka – Chotta Commandos ”

  1. Monica Dularey says:

    Very informative. Well written !

    1. Thanks so much Monica for reading through the blog and am so glad you found this blog informative👍

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