National Kayaking Expedition – 2013

From Haridwar , ( Uttarakhand )  to Varanasi ( Uttar Pradesh ) India

From : 25   Feb. 13  to  15 Mar. 13

Duration : 19 days

Distance  covered : 900 KM (Approx.)

Total participants : 7 Nos.

With a view to  commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, the Institute organized the National Kayaking Expedition – 2013  from Haridwar  (Uttarakhand ) to Varanasi ( Uttar Pradesh). This expedition , along the course of the river Ganga, was christened as ‘VIVEK YATRA’  and  financially supported by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Government of  India.

The objectives  of  this expedition were : –

(a)         To promulgate brotherhood & cordial relation with the States covered.

(b)        To popularize  adventure  & water sports amongst the  youth  in particular .

(c)         To increase  awareness to save and keep the River Ganga clean.

The expedition team reached Haridwar  to commence the expedition by train.  They left the Institute premises on 25 February, 2013   by 1.00 pm to reach Howrah Station to be boarded in Kumb Express.  Prior to leaving the Institute premises, the team had also met Sri Manoj  Kumar Agarwal , Secretary, Dept. of  Sports & Youth Services,  Government of  West Bengal at his office . He wished the team members a  grand success.  The kayaks  meant  for the expedition   and a rescue boat  (Rubber boat with O.B.M.) had been dispatched by truck to Haridwar well in advance.

The team comprising  7 young  boys  reached  Haridwar on  27 February, 2013 . During the period from 28 February  to 1 March, 2013 .  the team members  were  very much busy aiming at to perform certain vital work.  The young boys selected the expedition commencement spot, examined  the condition  of the kayaks and paddles,  made the rescue boat ready in all respect.  Finally,  endeavoured to do the preparation  for the Flag off   in  respect of the expedition.

On 2nd March, 2013, the   expedition was Flagged off   by  Shri Harish Ravat,   Hon’ble  Union Minister for Water Resources at Chandighat in  Haridwar, one of the  greatly renowned sacred  places in  India.  The Town President  and many other distinguished   persons were present to grace the  Flag off function   A lot of people had also gathered there to  watch  the   adventurous  event. . Reporters  and   photographers  of  local  leading newspapers and T.V. Channels   were also there to cover the event.  A very colourful and enthusiastic  environment prevailed  there,   when the   seven  young boys started paddling  their kayaks , uttering ‘Ganga Maa Ki Jai ‘, upon the ‘ Flag off ‘  of  the expedition; along the  course of  the river Ganga.

At  the   initial  stage  of  the expedition,  the team had to face obstacles.    On  3  February  and  . 4 February, 2013,   several rapids   were there  along  their way.    They  were also under heavy boulder  zone. The  bottom  of  rescue boat  with O.B.M. got damaged severely. It was almost  torn into two parts. A few kayaks also suffered damage. In some  joints, pasting got loosened.    However, by dint of skill and ready wit, the young boys overcame the obstacles. They arranged local repair work in respect of the rescue boat and kayaks.  They afforded night halts at   places adjacent to villages . They faced animal hazards. However, while kayaking, the young boys enjoyed very much the picturesque  view presented by the river banks.

Covering the places like Bijnaur, Ramghat, Raipur, Fategarh,  Kannuj, Kanpur and Mustafabad along the course of the river Ganga,  the team reached  Allahabad, where there is the confluence of  the rivers, Ganga, Yamuna and mythical  Saraswati.  The team  received a warm reception  from the   National Disaster Response Force Battalion  (NDRF 9Bn.).  A few of the NDRF personnel had received Disaster Management training earlier at the Institute. They were known to the  expedition team members.   A very happy moment emerged at that  time.

Leaving Allahabad , the expedition team   reached Mirzapur  before the sun set.  The young boys went to  a temple, where the deity  was  Lord Shiva. .They offered ‘Puja’ at the temple.  They had night halt at Mirzapur,  erecting tent. They slept in turn for the sake of  their own safety. as they did earlier.    The team  reached their ultimate destination Benaras  via Chunar. The  ancient Chunar Fort had delighted them very much.. Its shadow falling  on the  river water   also  gave them stupendous  happiness.   The  expedition had been  ‘Flagged’ in at Varanasi   by  the Dept. of   Police.  on 13 March, 2013.  They were applauded by the responsible Police Officers.  The  successful  team returned to the Institute on 15 March, 2013.

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