By Raju Vernekar
Mumbai, Dec 8:
The 10-day 23rd Hornbill Festival providing a glimpse of tribal culture, and art is being held at the Naga heritage village Kisama in Nagaland till December 10. The festival was inaugurated by Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Nagaland’ s 60th Statehood Day on December 01.
With its daily cultural events, such as music festivals, fashion shows, adventure sports, and night carnivals, the festival has been enrapturing audiences for roughly a week now.
As part of the Indian Navy’s Outreach program, the Indian Navy has set up a large stall at the festival. The focus of the stall is to provide local youth with information about the Indian Navy, its contribution to national security and the various opportunities for employment as officers and sailors, an official statement read.
A part of the stall has been converted into an Audio Visual Room where movies highlighting the Indian Navy are being screened. Virtual Reality headsets are also available which provide the viewer with a life-like experience of being on a Naval ship INS Kolkata and an aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya. These sets have been a great hit with the visitors. Some interesting products exhibited at the venue are innovative solutions for Artificial Intelligence and Cyber Security. In addition, an Indigenisation desk to interact with Industry/ Startups has been set up.
On Wednesday, the chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Admiral R Hari Kumar, graced the afternoon cultural session as the chief guest and said that to generate maritime consciousness through the festival was the Navy’s aim. The outreach programme seeks to create better consciousness about the “silent services” of the Navy, as this part of the country witnesses less representation. At present, there are only about 200 personnel in the Navy and “We are very keen to increase the number of personnel from Nagaland in the Navy,” he said.
The Naval chief informed that the response at the Navy stall has been very positive and over 6000 visitors have stepped foot at the Indian Navy stall. He hoped that the huge footfall would see more recruitments into the Navy.
He also explained the opportunities at the Indian Navy, the Agnipath scheme, and the types of recruitment along with eligibility criteria. Further, the naval chief stated that around 3,000 Agniveers have been recruited for the first time out of which 341 are women.
The Indian Navy is working towards ensuring that all key technologies are developed in India in the next 25 years for which it is in dialogue with startups and MSMEs. The Navy is working out ways to sign MoUs with startups in Nagaland that can help build technology for defence purposes, Kumar said. He also called on Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Wednesday.
Motivational lectures on ‘Career in the Indian Navy’ were organised for school children in association with the State Education Department at Government Higher Secondary School (GHSS), Dimapur, GHSS Purana Bazar and Pranab Vidyapith HSS and Ruzhukhrie GHSS and Thenocha Memorial GHSS, Kohima. In all 1280 students attended the interactive lectures.
As part of the festival the Naval Band with a total of 17 musician sailors performed from December 05 to December 07. The band gained immense popularity amongst the local population.
Besides, the Indian Navy Motorcycle Expedition was flagged off by the CNS from Guwahati on November 25, from INS Vikramaditya, to coincide with Lachit Divas, the 400th birth anniversary of the famous Commander-in-Chief (Borphukan) of Ahom Kingdom.
The Indian Navy expedition is supported by Royal Enfield who have provided 15 Meteor 350 Royal Enfield Motorcycles, along with service support. The team comprises 31 naval personnel including 02 women officers, spread over two phases covering a total distance of 3500 km in 21 days.
During Phase I, the riders covered a distance of 2000 km. The riders visited and interacted with students at schools in Guwahati, Sohra, Aizawl, Kolasib, Loktak and Imphal. The interaction with students provided the boost and motivation to young students to join Indian Navy & Armed Forces. The rally reached the Hornbill festival site on Wednesday.