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Updated: January 29, 2014 12:51 IST

Circumnavigator asks youth to take risks to make a 'sea' change

D. Radhakrishnan
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Lt.Commander Abhilash. Photo: D. Radhakrishnan
The Hindu
Lt.Commander Abhilash. Photo: D. Radhakrishnan

‘Inspiration plays a big role in moulding the attitude of youth towards life’

It has been about ten months since Lt.Commander Abhilash Tomy did the country proud by becoming the first Indian to successfully complete a gruelling 151 day solo unassisted circumnavigation.

President of India Pranab Mukherjee while receiving him officially lauded his achievement as a source of inspiration and since then Tomy has been going round the country inspiring people from various walks of life including corporate sector employees and students of IIMs, IITs, colleges and schools.

Speaking to The Hindu after an interaction with the students of the Lawrence School at Lovedale near here on Monday, the 35-year old adventurous seafarer said that inspiration plays a big role in moulding the attitude of the people particularly the youth towards life.

"So far, I have addressed about 20,000 people", he said and added that the response has been tremendous and that many have even started contemplating a career in the navy.

Pointing out that it was a combination of inspiration and love for the sea which had helped him surmount odds of a varied kind to do what he had done, he said that if another offer for something similar came his way he would grab it.

The ordeals which formed part of the adventure had only strengthened his resolve, he added.

Stating that he subscribed to the theory, ‘risk is an essential part of life’, he said that the circumnavigation was a calculated risk. When asked about life in the navy, he said that though there are several vocations where one can earn a lot without sweating or worrying too much about discipline, a career in the armed forces particularly the navy has no parallels.

"There is very little awareness about this in the civilian world", he said and presumed that it was one of the reasons for the, ‘Join the Navy’ appeals being put out through advertisements.

Adverting to the different kinds of services now open to the youth, Tomy said that a stint in the Navy will stand a person in good stead throughout his life.

When his views were sought on the recent boat tragedy at Port Blair, Tomy said that the sea should never be taken lightly.

Either knowledge of swimming or life jackets could have saved many lives, he said and pointed out that in tropical waters the survival chances are more as they are warm.

Sangita Chima, Headmistress of the Lawrence School said that such exposure is a motivating factor for the students, many of whom are at the threshold of making a life for themselves.

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