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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Training in underwater diving

The Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve Trust (GOMBRT) along with the People's Action for Development, a non-governmental organisation, started a 10-day training in self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) diving at Vembar near here on Tuesday.

V.K. Malkani, Director, GOMBRT, said that the training was aimed at equipping the youth in coastal areas with techniques to preserve the marine biodiversity of the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere, which was "the first marine area in the country to be declared as `Marine Biosphere Reserve' under United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation's (UNESCO) Man and Biosphere Programme."

Besides, there will be lessons on how to rescue coastal people during disasters.

In all, 14 people, including four girls, from the hamlets along the Gulf of Mannar coastline are given the training by experts from Barracuda Diving Centre in Goa.

Of them, eight persons will be trained in open water diving, two in rescue diving and the rest in advance open water diving.

He said the trust would provide assistance to the trainees on the completion of the programme, to make alternative livelihood so that they would not be dependent on marine resources.

"We had given employment to 13 youth, who underwent a similar training in SCUBA diving conducted earlier, as `anti-poaching watchers' under the GOMBRT," he said. They were now paid consolidated monthly salary.

According to him, the trust will provide facilities to those who are inducted as anti-poaching watchers to hone their skills. "They will be periodically trained in advanced diving techniques."

Source: The Hindu

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