TO BE SECURE ON LAND WE MUST BE SUPREME AT SEA – Jawaharlal Nehru
And so it happened, 120 children (100 girls and 20 boys) accompanied by around 10 MAD volunteers laid seige on the Southern Naval Command of the Indian Navy!
We started from the Travancore gate of the Naval base at 8:30, entering in batches!
The first activity was a visit to a naval warship, INS Sujata. Each group was taken through the ship, to the bridge and the helo deck which has space to land a helicopter. INS Sujata is an Off-shore Patrol Vessel. More for recce than actual combat.
Our next stop was INS Garuda, the naval airbase. There some of us got to see a plane landing at close proximity. We were given a guided tour of the Seaking helicopter and the Navy’s new unmanned surveilance planes. The pilot also took us through some of the theory behind planes and helicopters.
Finally we were taken to the Naval auditorium where two senior officers, including a Woman officer took us through an informative session on careers in the navy for girls and boys, and how to prepare for the same. They stressed on the importance of being conversant in English. By this time the children were very excited and had plenty of questions for the presenters.The talk also covered the importance of the navy in peacetime, especially for a country with a 7600km long coastline.
The program ended with a thank-you speech by Amu of St Mary’s Convent. After this the Navy arranged refreshments for all of us.
All-in-all, it was a beautifully arranged and thought-through program. Unfortunately we could not take pics inside the base for security reasons.
While we waited for the bus to return for them, we took the boys of YMCA and Bal bhavan for lunch to Ceylon Bake house. We were all so famished, the food was over in seconds.
A special mention is due of all the volunteers who attended the program. There was so much co-ordination involved, it was like a naval exercise in itself. :)
Eobin, Nikhil, Aparna, Niki, Bindia, Paul, Shahnaz, Ruth, Riz, Kutty Gayatri, Anupama THANK YOU!