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The U-shape conference table was set, the name plates of all five top executives taking part in the conference were propped up on the table. Even the duration of the conference was meticulously planned- 35 minutes, not more, not less. 

But holding a meeting within the comfort an air-conditioned conference room is passé, it would seem. At least for these head honchos, who held an underwater conference.  

In what is perhaps a first in India, top executives from five multinational companies dove 5 metres into the Arabian Sea. The agenda of the meeting was global warming.  Their plunge into the deep blue waters provided the perfect set-up to pledge their commitment towards saving aquatic life.

The conference was held at the Grove Beach in Kerala's Kovalam on Monday and is part of a campaign "Ocean Love", organized by Bond Safar in association with Udaya Samudra Beach Hotel and Spa.

The under-water event aimed at drafting a long-term, sustainable plan to protect the ocean and marine life. 

So, who’s making waves, you ask?

Hema Menon, the Centre Head of UST Global, Dinesh P Thambi, Vice President and Delivery Centre Head of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Rony Thomas Zacaria, CEO of Avon Mobility Solution Pvt Ltd, Dr Shyam Kumar, NeoLogix and Rajagopal Iyer, CEO of UDS group of Hotels took the dive on Monday.

Dressed in diving suites, the head honchos held up posters with their pledge written on it.

Speaking about the campaign, Jackson Peter, Managing Director of Bond Safari Kovalam spoke about the amount of plastic waste that gets dumped into water bodies. 

"About 13 million tonnes of plastic are being produced per year. Approximately 9 million tonnes of plastic often get discarded into the ocean after it has been used. Based on a study published in March 2017, 34% of the animals in the sea were affected by plastic," Jackson noted.

Of course, they were given ample training a day prior to the event. 

For Dinesh P Thambi, Vice President and Delivery Centre Head, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), his motivation to join the campaign was easy, once he realised that three billion people across the world are dependent on marine and coastal biodiversity,   

Following the event, Rajagopal Iyer, CEO of Udaya Samdura Group of Hotels said that focus should not only be laid upon keeping one's surroundings clean, should also include cleaning up water bodies. As a first step, a Beach and Marine Environment Protection Club is in the making that will educate people on the importance of taking care of aquatic life, he said.

Kovalam has also witnessed the first underwater wedding in India, when a Slovakian bride and a Maharashtrian groom took vows in the Arabian Sea.

The 90-minute wedding saw the couple exchange vows, garlands and rings, before they sealed it with a kiss! 

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