| A visitor takes snaps of a naval warship in Paradip on Tuesday. Telegraph picture |
Paradip, Nov. 20: Enthusiastic crowd had a heart-throbbing experience as the might and prowess of country’s naval ships was thrown open to public here today.
For many, it was a lifetime experience to catch glimpse of a fleet of two warships — INS Khukri and INS Khanjar — from close quarters.
Both the warships armed with formidable array of weapons, sensors and anti-ship sea-skimming missiles in their armouries and guided missile corvettes stood majestic as visitors watched them to understand various aspects of a naval ship.
“The Indian Naval Ships (INS) of the Eastern Fleet were thrown open for public view today as part of observance of navy week. Our objective was to make the people aware the navy’s preparedness to safeguard country’s security and sovereignty. Besides, exposure exercise of this nature also aims to imbibe patriotic spirit in youths,” said Pramod Menon, lieutenant commander and public relation officer of the Eastern Naval Fleet.
“Public response was simply overwhelming. Right from morning hours, there was heavy rush of enthusiastic people. The assembly of crowd mostly consisted of schoolchildren and youths of 18 to 25 years of age. Visitors were subjected to mandatory security screening,” he said.
“The visitors bombarded the naval personnel with questions. The personnel explained the technical aspect of the operation of warships, rocket launchers and missiles. We were pleased to find that people evinced interest and displayed inquisitiveness to know more about of naval operation,” Menon said.
“I was delighted to board on the INS Khanjar. I was made to understand the assault capabilities of the warship,” said Dipti Prakash Pattnaik, a local resident.
“There was unending queue of people. But, the exciting experience of closely watching the warships was too tempting to resist. The naval personnel guided everybody and put everything in plain words. The complexities of weaponry of warships were elucidated by them in a simple manner,” said Binay Kumar Ray, another visitor.
“Watching the warships is an experience that I would treasure for the rest of life. There was public display last year. But, I had missed it because of illness. Today’s experience has imbibed the spirit to join in navy. The navy personnel are protecting the country in adverse condition while putting their life in risk,” said Bithika Mahapatra, a Class X student of a local school.
Every year, the Naval Day is being celebrated on December 4 to commemorate the courage and daredevilry by the Indian Navy to commemorate the attack on Karachi harbour during the Indo-Pak war in 1971. As part of the Navy Day events, Indian Navy has undertaken various activities aimed to enhance the awareness of its prowess among the people, said the navy personnel.