Platypus Escapes is a scuba diving centre based in the city of Visakhapatnam incorporated in 2019. The centre is affiliated to Scuba Schools International ((SSI). Scuba Schools International is an organization that teaches the skills involved in scuba diving and freediving and supports dive businesses and resorts. SSI has over 2,500 authorized dealers, 35 regional centres, and offices all over the world.
The dive centre is co-founded by Subhash Chandran and Padmavati Madipalli, a husband-wife duo who are passionate divers. Subhash Chandran is a Senior level Instructor with SSI and loves to teach and certify budding and professional divers. He is in the diving profession since 2011 and has teaching experience since 2013. He has certified hundreds of divers from across the world. He has worked in Goa, Netrani Islands (Karnataka) and Andaman Islands before coming to Visakhapatnam and establishing his own dive centre with his wife.
Padmavati Madipalli is a certified diver, traveller and professionally has experience of working in consulting jobs in the not-for-profit sector. However, her interest was in tourism sector and this dive centre was the right fit. She had a brief experience of working in the tourism sector while staying in Andaman Islands and really enjoyed the experience.
Subhash and Padmavati shared a vision for bringing world class diving in Visakhapatnam after destiny brought them here, seeing the potential of this place. Although they didn’t have any plans initially to have a dive centre of their own, they got motivated by the people of Vizag who encouraged them start their own dive centre.
However, since incorporation, due to regulatory challenges operations couldn’t be initiated till now. So, the team started doing underwater clean-ups in Rushikonda and Mangamaripeta. This was also an unplanned initiative which happened just by chance when the team went frequently for a swim into the sea in Rushikonda and found the disturbing state of plastic pollution underwater.
“So far, we have done 57 days of clean-up clearing more than 17,000 kg waste from the sea. Since then it is our mission to keep doing underwater clean-ups. We would like to create environmentally conscious certified divers who will be warriors of change and spread the message of plastic pollution across their circles,” stated Subhash.
He further added, “Apart from that. we always wanted to make it accessible to persons with disabilities. We got an opportunity to be trained by the prestigious Handicapped Scuba Association (HSA), USA in March 2020 just before the Covid-19 lockdown. The Handicapped Scuba Association has dedicated itself to improving the physical and social well-being of people with disabilities through the sport of scuba diving.”
“Our team finished the HAS certification successfully meaning we can train and certify persons with disabilities for scuba diving. The final say regarding the fitness for dive will be of the medical practitioner who has a good knowledge of the person’s condition,” said Subhash.
Having done this course, Platypus Escapes in the first dive centre in India and Subhash Chandran the first diving Instructor in the country to be certified by HSA.
“We wait for the lockdown to be over and local tourism department to issue us necessary permits to enable us to serve the people passionate about diving. We wish to demonstrate a responsible and sustainable tourism model in scuba diving though our work of certifications in scuba diving, ocean clean-ups, awareness about marine plastic pollution and training persons with disabilities. In a nutshell, we dream of Platypus Escapes to be a dive centre with a difference,” concluded Subhash.
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