Be it training the Tamil Nadu marine police, the coast guards or the forest department, S. B Aravind has always been really proactive and enthusiastic for such events. He is one of the most experienced divers of India and has an enormous amount of experience when it comes to training officers, recovering sunken fishermen boats, engines or working with colleges to train future marine biologists of India in scuba diving for them to better understand the marine ecosystems.
Today we are sharing with you one such event which was conducted recently in Rameshwaram to train the Tamil Nadu forest department, the coastal security group, and some fishermen. It was not merely about the training but also about building a synergic relationship between a different segment of people who had similar goals and it would result in efficient conservation efforts for the marine ecosystems. It was a really significant event sponsored by the Wildlife Institute of India. Our special thanks to Sivakumar, Madhu Magesh, and Rukmini for all the support.
On Day 1, the event started with an inaugural program which was graced by the presence of Mr. Vanniya Perumal IPS, ADGP Tamil Nadu CSG, Mr. T. K. Ashok Kumar IFS, Wildlife Warden, Gulf Of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve, Mr. Rajkumar, Assistant Conservator of forest Ramanathapuram, Forest Ranger Sathish Ramnad and Mr. S. B. Aravind (Training Instructor), Director, Temple Adventures.
The participants of the training included 5 officers from the Tamil Nadu Forest Department, 5 from the Tamil Nadu Coastal Security Group and 2 more people from the fishermen community who have also been active volunteers for the dugong conservation project. After the inaugural program was completed Mr. Aravind took over by starting with the theory sessions for the training program, which were aided by some video lectures and knowledge review tests.
Day 2 started with the participants, temple adventures team and the WII (Wildlife Institute of India) team assembling at the Ariyaman Beach for some confined water training before the participants actually hit the ocean. All the skills and knowledge that was taught theoretically was finally practiced in shallow water post which remaining two lectures were carried out at the forest department office, Thangachimadam, where the participants gained a deeper understanding about diving physics, physiology, equipment, decompression theory, and the marine environment.
On Day 3, The participants were all set to experience what they were trained for! With all enthusiasm and excitement, the first two open water dives were conducted successfully with the assistance of team temple at the coral patches of Mandapam in two batches respectively. After which there was a small debriefing conducted at the forest outpost.
Day 4 we took the first batch out for a short 30-minute dive which consisted of the coastal security group and a fisherman while the second batch attended the theory and practical session of biodiversity monitoring which consisted of the Forest Department team and a fisherman. Post the dives and the session, the final exam was conducted for the participants at the Ramanathapuram Forest Office.
The valedictory event was attended by the wildlife warden, Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve, Mr. Ashok Kumar IFS. He presented the participants with the course completion certification and a memento. He also delivered a speech, highlighting the importance of the course and the significance of the collaborative work which directed towards taking care of the rich marine diversity and spreading awareness. The course instructor Mr. Aravind too picked up the mike to encourage the participants to dive more often and to put their newly learned skills for a better purpose. Finally, the participants shared their experiences and opinions and this wonderful event came to an end. Many such training programs have been conducted by Aravind before! But this was one of a kind event as it involved a collaboration between different departments which meant developing a synergy between them for the better conservation of the marine ecosystem.
Happy bubbling to all!
Remember be a bubblemaker, not a troublemaker 😀