At the end of 2009, Havelock, a tiny island in Andaman and Nicobar, played host to India's first scuba diving festival. The gigantic beachside party, attended by nearly 4,500 people, came just two days after the first class graduated from the Andaman Diving Academy in Port Blair, which is India's first scuba diving instructor training institute.
For a sport that was barely known till a few years ago, scuba diving has rapidly become popular amongst the new tribe of Indians who are willing to step out of their comfort zone in search of adventure. The growing number of dive shops in destinations like Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar, and the creation of a festival like Divestock are testimony to the fact.
The second edition of Divestock, to be held in October 2011, is expected to be grander, uniting celebration of the underwater world with its conservation. The event will be flagged off with a 'Save the Sharks' campaign that will travel across India.
According to Madhava Reddy, owner of Planet Scuba India, which is organising Divestock, the number of Indian scuba divers has doubled each year over the last few years and is expected to keep growing at this rate.