Nov' 2022

Veterans Club Odisha collaborates with SiliconTech to organize ‘Chilika re Jalapari’, an open water swimming event

The Veterans Club Odisha (VCO) collaborated with SiliconTech to organize an open water swimming event named ‘Chilika Re Jalapari’ in Chilika, Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon on 13 November 2022. The event was supported by the Government of Odisha and assisted by the Para Swimming Federation of India and Indian Navy.

The VCO conducted this event to commemorate the Navy Day and spread awareness about the protection of migratory birds. It also aimed to promote Chilika lake as an international hub of aqua sports, boost tourism in Odisha, inspire the youth to participate in international sports and encourage young girls to join the Indian Armed Forces.

25 members from SiliconTech comprising both faculty members and students came together to manage different segments of the event like anchoring, reporting, and photography.

The achievement of Jiya Rai, an autistic teenager and Child Prodigy Recipient of Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Purashkar added to the glory of the event. Jiya set a record by swimming 21 kilometres in 3 hours and 52 minutes and was honoured with the title of ‘Chilika re Jalapari’. Her remarkable feat created history and inspired and motivated the youth.

Shri Tusharkanti Behera, Minister of State (Independent Charge), E & IT, Sports & Youth Services at Government of Odisha and Commodore N.P. Pradeep, Commanding Officer of INS Chilika, were also present to witness the historic moment.

Mr. Bidyadhar Nayak, President, VCO emphasized the introduction of open water swimming in Chilika and explained how this event could help Chilika become a tourist hub and protect the migratory birds. Commodore N.P. Pradeep spoke about the sacrifices made by Jiya’s parents in fulfilling their child’s dreams and Jiya’s father spoke about every child having one or more unique capabilities and urged everyone to believe in themselves and never give up.

The formal vote of thanks was delivered by Mr. Nitai Gaur Dhal, Founder & Working Trustee, Silicon Institute of Technology, Bhubaneswar. Mr. Dhal spoke about the intent behind organizing the event and expressed his gratitude to everyone who participated in the event enthusiastically.