Our 3/Off wins gold medal in (B.Sc. – Nautical Sciences) from President of India Shree Pranab Mukherjee
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin. It was this level of mentoring and training to me at Anglo Eastern and the unyielding support of my parents that helped me realize my goals.
The day I decided to join the merchant navy is still fresh in my memory. First was the IMU entrance test followed by the Anglo Eastern selection interview which contained a series of tests to gauge the aptitude and the psychological and intellectual abilities of potential cadets. Upon passing these tests I was asked to report to the INTERNATIONAL MARITIME INSTITUTE (IMI), Greater Noida, where I was to begin my pre-sea training. We were a batch of 120 students full of ambition and restless to begin our journey towards our goals. And so we did under the watchful eyes of the faculty at IMI and also Capt. S. Narang who was assigned to mentor us and mould us into the Anglo-Eastern officers that we would one day become.
During our training, the one thing that was given utmost importance, which was emphasized right from the beginning of our cadetship was SAFETY, which developed in us a ‘safety culture’ that had been imbibed to us even before we began our professional careers. The level of emphasis laid on workplace safety and the training imparted to us was a reassurance of the uncompromising safety standards of Anglo Eastern, which made us not only good seafarers but also better, more compassionate human beings.
The staff at IMI had a herculean task of turning us cadets into men ready to take on the challenges at sea. We were schooled on aspects ranging from Collision prevention rules (COLREGS), Marine pollution prevention regulations to ship construction. Regular visits to AEMTC, Delhi were arranged where we were shown presentations, practical training was imparted on aspects like voyage planning. Great emphasis was laid on the quality, safety and environmental protection policies of Anglo Eastern which form the core of the company and are the reason why it boasts high standards and sets the bar for quality in the industry. Finally came the day of our passing out, when there was a grand ceremony and an award function. Needless to say all of us were sad and excited at the same time, because on one hand we had to bid farewell to a year long friendship, on the other hand it meant that we were about realize the dream of actually sailing on a ship !
Before long came the time to join my first vessel ‘M.V. Federal Oshima’ a bulk carrier. Once again there was no compromise in safety standards as we were put through a safety induction course focusing only on workplace and job related, followed by a pre-joining briefing conducted by Capt. Niraj Nanda. As any cadet would tell you, my first six months as a cadet was a bitter-sweet experince and one that I would never forget. The fact that you are thousands of miles away from family and in a completely alien work environment can be overwhelming at times, but serves as a much needed initiation process to gear one up for life at sea. This is one of the reasons why seafarers are more mature and mentally stronger than their peers elsewhere in most other professions. My second and third ships were ‘M.T. Unique Explorer’ and ‘M.T. San Saba’ respectively, which were both Oil Tankers, which provided me with the much needed experience of sailing on different types of vessels.
The day I completed my cadetship was the day I had been eagerly looking forward to, but my journey to becoming a full-fledged officer was not over yet. Then came the time for the preparatory course for our competency examinations, qualifying us as responsible officers. The training imparted to us at ANGLO EASTERN MARITIME TRAINING CENTRE (AEMTC), New Delhi was as usual a class apart from anything we had ever experienced. The amount of dedication and dedication and training of the staff at AEMTC groomed us to meet the unparalleled high standards of becoming an Anglo Eastern Officer, under the watchful eyes of Capt. Agnihotri and Capt. S. Narang.
After 18 months of onboard training we were required to pass a qualifying examination held by the Indian Maritime University (IMU), which would mark the completion of our cadetship, after which we would be awarded a degree in B.Sc Nautical Sciences. Thanks to the theoretical and practical training imparted by Anglo Eastern, I was declared the All India 1st rank holder for the first batch of IMU and was fortunate enough to be awarded the President’s Gold Medal. I was ecstatic to hear the news but could not attend the ceremony myself which was held at IMU, Chennai, since I was sailing at the time. The ceremony was graced by The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee. My parents accepted the award on my behalf along with Mr. Vineeth. PAMBAN (AESM, Chennai). Following my sign off, I was called to the Mumbai office where I was awarded the gold medal by Capt. Vinay Singh , in the presence all my mentors at Anglo Eastern Mumbai, and the office staff. It was a humbling experience and one that I will never forget. Upon my return I was also congratulated by Mr. Vineeth. PAMBAN and the rest of the staff at Anglo Eastern Chennai, who have always given me their unconditional support.
“Where we love is home, home that our feet may leave but not our hearts”. No matter where I go or what I become, I will always remain a proud Anglo Eastern Cadet at heart.
– V. SARAT CHANDRA BHARADWAJ