Taking the interaction with the fishing community of coastal areas to the next level, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) conducted a ‘Day at Sea’ event for the children of fishing hamlets at Frazerganj, South 24 Paraganas. 19 young boys and girls were provided with a unique, thrilling and lifetime experience of travelling on board a hovercraft that had been brought in from the ICG base at Haldia.
The children, who had seen a hovercraft but never been on one so far, were excited to be shown the cockpit area and be witness to the pilots operating the machine. The crewmembers of the Air Cushion Vehicle (technical name for the hovercraft) tickled the curiosity of the young children by showing them various life saving and safety equipment on board. On culmination of the sortie, the children were explained as to how Coast Guard carried out its duty of ensuring coastal security and how the fishing community stood to benefit by becoming the ‘eyes and ears’ of the security construct in the area.
Inspector General Kuldeep Singh Sheoran, the Coast Guard Commander at the Regional Headquarters (North East) in Kolkata stated that such outreach programmes were absolutely essential in the interests of coastal security. ‘We have to take the fishing communities on board if we need to be effective. They need to be sensitized time and again of the role that they can play, and be reminded that their families stand to gain as much as anyone else if the coastal areas are safe’, he said.
The outreach programme was one amongst the slew of events that the Coast Guard has conducted in the recent past in the run up to the 41stRaising Day that falls on 01 Feb 18.