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Bhubaneswar: Internationally renowned diver Sabir Bux has established a training center for windsurfing on the Mahanadi River. Named the ‘Kalinga Divers Foundation’, the permanent facility is to offer young people free training in windsurfing and scuba diving.
The facility has been established on the pier in front of the Odisha State Maritime Museum at Jobra in Cuttack and 132 people are trained there.
“I started this installation to promote water sports, nautical tourism and the river clean-up campaign. Thanks to this, we also try to educate young people about the preservation and protection of water bodies, ”Sabir told Orissa POST.
The Department of Sports and Youth Services supports Sabir in promoting water sports in the state. “The sports department gave me 10 lakh as funding for the project last year,” he said.
To justify Mahanadi’s choice to create the training center, Sabir said, “We have been snorkeling and scuba diving in the river and found the water quality to be good. Lots of fish and aquatic invertebrates are found in these waters and that makes scuba diving interesting here. The river is also clean like the winds in Mahanadi and also the water is clean, we thought it would help beginners to learn windsurfing and scuba diving. First, I will teach them how to swim underwater which is quite difficult, after they have perfected themselves in underwater swimming, I will teach them to scuba dive. After training here, I will send top trainees to Goa training center for further training.
Besides students, Sabir has involved slum children, beggars and even young alcoholics who lead decent lives.
“I train them in various water sports. So far, I have trained 18 tribal children. Some even go kite surfing, ”said Sabir.
Speaking of his future plans, Sabir added, “I plan to train transgender people and will engage them as well.