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Panaji, Jul 27: The Indian Coast Guard got stronger with the commissioning of the extra-fast patrol vessel ICGS 'Meera Behn'.

Indian Coast Guard ship Meera Behn stands to be the fourth ship of the exra-fast patrol vessel (XFPV) class.   The ship was commissioned by Indian Coast Guard director general Dr P Paleri.

The ship is equipped to have the capabilities which will project the ICG as the leading maritime force in the subcontinent. The maximum speed the ship can touch is of 35 kn. Prolonged endurance at sea and advanced navigational aids will be an effective merit against pirates, smugglers, drug/traffickers and any illegal insurgents.  the ship is built by the Goa  Shipyard Pvt Ltd.

ICGS Meera Behn

The official gathering

Director general of the Indian Coast Guard Dr P Paleri (third form left) is seen with the ship's crew

The official flag-lift ceremony


Ship's profiles

The control room

Another view of the control room; The ceremonial guard

Director general receiving the guard of honour

The force

The ship

A sign of satisfaction:  A K Handa of the Goa Shipyard, Dr Paleri and other officials look at the ship with great satisfaction after the ship was commissioned

Meera Behn (1892-1982)

Meera Behn (originally, Madeleine Slade) was born in 1892 in England. She came from a traditional aristocratic family in England and her father was an admiral (Sir Edmond Slade). Once she happened to read Romain Rolland's book 'Mahatma Gandhi' which changed her life.

In view of her devotion and her dedication to the service towards Indians, Mahatma Gandhi gave her the name 'Meera Behn'. She was later sent to Kanya Gurukul, Dehra Dun where she taught English, spinning and carding and studied Hindi and the scriptures.

In 1932 Meera Behn accompanied Gandhiji to the second round table conference as his interpreter. She always used to say that India was her home and she felt like a foreigner in England.

After joining the Satyagraha movement, she was put in the prison on a few ocassions. She was also arrested with Gandhiji and was in the Aga Khan Palace detention camp from August 1942 to May 1944. 

In 1959 she left India for good and settled in a small village in Vienna. She was awarded the top civilian decoration 'Padma Vibhushan' by the indian government in 1982 and in the same year she died. 
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