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    First-Ever Brahmaputra Sailing Expedition Flagged Off

    The flagging in ceremony will be presided over by the Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal

    The NCC Directorate Shillong flagged off the first-ever sailing expedition in the entire Northeast on the mighty Brahmaputra river on October 16th, 2019. The expedition by NCC Cadets has been flagged off to commemorate great Ahom Warrior, Lachit Borphukan. Lachit Divas is being celebrated on November 24th, 2019. On this day, the best cadet of National Defence Academy is conferred with Lachit Borphukan Gold Medal.

    The Brahmaputra expedition named Lachit 1 will cover a distance of 210 kilometers. Flagged off from Biswanath Ghat amidst grand fanfare, the 10-day expedition will be flagged in at Pandu Port, Guwahati on October 25th, 2019. The expedition was flagged off by Major General Bipin Bakshi, Additional Director General of NCC, Northeast Region. Pramod Borthakur, MLA Biswanath Chariali handed over the flag to Expedition leader.

    Major General Bipin Bakshi flagging off first-ever Brahmaputra sailing expedition in Biswanath. Photo: Time8

    A colourful cultural program by NCC cadets preceded the flagging off ceremony. The function was attended by Brigadier KS Rao Group Commander, NCC Group Tezpur and Rakesh Roshan, SP Biswanath Chariali besides several military and civil dignitaries. The expedition team will reach Pandu Port, Guwahati on October 25th, 2019 and the flagging in ceremony will be presided over by the Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

    The expedition has been flagged off as a tribute to Lachit Borphukan, the great Ahom General who vanquished the Mughals in the Battle of Saraighat.

    Bishwanath Ghat and Pandu have a special mentions in the history of Ahom rule in Assam. Bishwanath Ghat was one of the important naval positions of the Ahom Kingdom. The Battle of Saraighat was fought in Pandu between the Ahoms and the Mughals in 1671.

    “The Battle of Saraighat is the only battle in the Indian history which was fought entirely on water Hence, this expedition not only involves an adrenaline rush, but also a lot of challenges. We are going into uncharted waters, the Brahmaputra is as much a challenge as mighty it is,” Bakshi told media.

    80 cadets including 10 girls and 70 boys are part of the expedition and on rotation, at a time 24 cadets will be sailing the three boats which will be used in it. The teams will only sail during the day with a night halt in various places keeping in view the safety issues. During the expedition, the team will halt at Tezpur, Silghat, Singri, Kathali Palaguri, Titimara, Kurua and Amingaon, amongst a few others.

    Lachit-I. Photo: Time8

    “The aim of the expedition is to rekindle the memories of the epic bravery of Lachit Borphukan, while fostering a spirit of adventure amongst the youth. It will also bring to fore the rich heritage & remind the present generation of the valour displayed by the great Ahom general Lachit Borphukan and the first lady freedom fighter from Assam to be martyred Kanaklata Barua, in the true traditions of the rich history of Assam,” said Bakshi while briefing media.

    “The expedition has been envisaged to inculcate a spirit of adventure, leadership and team spirit amongst the NCC cadets who were selected after a thorough selection process and  have been training for a period of over one month  involving seamanship, communications, swimming, safety drills, first aid etc,” Bakshi further added.

    It may be mentioned here that to make this expedition more purposeful, the cadets in collaboration with the Principal Conservator of Forest Assam, will also spread awareness about the dangers to Brahmaputra and its marine life & role of the riverine population in
    protecting it.

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