By Shambhavi Singh: The Yacht Club of Hyderabad (YCH) has changed the lives of two economically disadvantaged students by officially inducting them into the Indian Navy. Residents of Rasoolpura slum Erra Durga Prasad (20) and Gowtham Kankatla (21), who struggled in the early stages of their training, have achieved their dreams after a stint with YCH and are now sailors, according to the Times of India.
Prasad’s father works in a photocopy shop, and his mother is a cleaner at a motorcycle showroom. Gowtham’s father, on the other hand, was an alcoholic who died in 2007 from liver cirrhosis. Later, his mother supported their family by doing whatever odd jobs she could find.
During the initial sailing phase with the yacht club, both Prasad and Gowtham struggled to adjust. Prasad’s first attempt at Pawna Lake in Pune, Maharashtra, did not go well because his boat was toppled by a storm, prompting lifeguards to rescue him.
In 2017, he won a bronze medal at the India International Regatta, propelling him to the top of India’s junior rankings. He tried out for the Navy’s junior fleet in 2016 and was chosen, and he will finally join his senior fleet in 2021. So did Gowtham, who struggled to keep his feet firmly on the boat in Hyderabad, Telangana’s Hussain Sagar Lake. In 2016, he won his first gold medal.
Gowtham’s mother recalls him joining YCH when he was ten years old, and she did not have high hopes when Gowtham expressed a desire to participate in water sports, but she eventually had to accept it.
Prasad and Gowtham both completed their training in Odisha and have been assigned to their first assignment in Mumbai, Maharashtra.