Paradip (Orissa): Boredom, sea sickness, work pressure and being incommunicado with near and dear ones for months can take its toll on sailors. But with the advent of Direct to Home Television (DTH), crew members of the Indian Navy have been able to increase their entertainment quotient and keep boredom at bay.
"DTH has turned into a prime mode of entertainment inside the warships. Earlier we used to spend our time watching movies through VCDs, DVDs. But after DTH, we now have a whole basket of channels to watch. One can watch a programme of one`s choice," said Yuvraj Singh, a commander in the Indian Navy.
DTH has added a new meaning to life inside the warships. Though other modes of entertainment were available earlier, the plethora of programmes available in different languages and the clarity of signals have turned DTH into a favoured mode of entertainment aboard.
"We stay away from shores for months together. We even remain incommunicado with family members for days in the absence of mobile signals till we touch the next shore. And during long days, DTH television is a favourite of mine," Singh added.
In some select big warships, different facilities have been provided so that crew members can enjoy their leisure time. In some big ships there are gymnasiums and other indoor sports.
"During our leisure time we used to go to the gym, but they are only available on big ships. Now we can watch TV too. You can catch up on news and other affairs happening on land. We watch different types of programmes including regional programmes," Rajesh Vishnu, another commander in the Indian Navy, said.
The television sets have been provided in different rooms inside the ship such as the living room and dining area. For sports buffs DTH has opened a new window of entertainment.
"Whenever I get time, the first thing I do is to catch up on cricket matches. Earlier watching cricket matches inside the ship was completely unimaginable. But now I can watch matches on board too. Though I can`t afford to watch TV during duty hours, at least I can catch the match after that," said P. Swain, a crew member on board the Indian Navy ship Jalashwa.