India

Indian Navy’s all-woman team sets sail from Goa to circumnavigate globe

INSV Tarini with an all-woman crew on board leaves Goa on September 10, 2017 on a global circumnavigation trip.

INSV Tarini with an all-woman crew on board leaves Goa on September 10, 2017 on a global circumnavigation trip.

Hailing the all-woman crew on a global circumnavigation trip as “great, inspired and well- motivated”, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on September 10 said that the event was a “historic occasion for India”. 

“This is not an occasion which can happen once in five years, once in 10 years. This is a historic day for India. A historic day, which will be marked in navigation history and globally. Our women are going to stand out for doing something which mostly wouldn’t even have been thought of," Ms. Sitharaman, India’s first full-time woman Defence Minister, said ahead of flagging off the Navika Sagar Parikrama at the INS Mandovi Naval training base near Panaji. Goa Chief Minister and former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was present.

Navika Sagar Parikrama considered the first-ever attempt by an all-woman crew to circumnavigate the globe, would cover the expedition in five legs with stop-overs at four ports (Fremantle, Australia; Lyttleton, New Zealand; Port Stanley, the Falklands; and Cape town, South Africa) for replenishment of ration and repairs as necessary, before returning to Goa in April 2018. 

 

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman flagging off INSV Tarini, a ship that will circumnavigate the globe, in presence of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, in Goa on Sunday.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman flagging off INSV Tarini, a ship that will circumnavigate the globe, in presence of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, in Goa on Sunday.

 

Speaking to the media later, Ms. Sitharaman said that wherever needed the Defence Ministry will be more than willing to support and encourage women to take up opportunities in the Defence. Shed observed that there was no need to open separate areas for women, because women have been coming forward on their own in a big way and by proving themselves, taking up various opportunities and challenges. 

The crew has sailed approximately 20,000 nautical miles on board INSV Mhadei and Tarini as part of training, which includes two expeditions to Mauritius (in 2016 and 2017) and a voyage from Goa to Cape Town in December 2016.

Five members of the Indian Navy’s all-woman global circumnavigation team (from left): Lt. Payal Gupta, Lt. Commander Pratibha Jamwal, Lt. Commander Vartika Joshi, Lt. Vijaya Devi and  Lt. Commander Patarapalli Swathi. File

Five members of the Indian Navy’s all-woman global circumnavigation team (from left): Lt. Payal Gupta, Lt. Commander Pratibha Jamwal, Lt. Commander Vartika Joshi, Lt. Vijaya Devi and Lt. Commander Patarapalli Swathi. File

INSV Tarini is a 55-foot sailing vessel which has been built indigenously by Aquarius Shipyard, Goa and was inducted into the Indian Navy earlier in 2017.

"The project is considered essential towards promoting ocean sailing activities in the Navy while depicting Government of India’s thrust for Nari Shakti (women power)," said Chief of the Naval Staff  Admiral Sunil Lanba in his welcome speech earlier.

In consonance with the national policy to empower women to attain their full potential, the expedition aims to showcase Nari Shakti on the world platform. 

“This would also help to discard the societal attitudes and mind-set towards women in India by raising visibility of participation by women in challenging environment,” said a press release of Indian Navy in Panaji on September 10. 

The first Indian solo circumnavigation was undertaken by Capt. Dilip Donde, SC (Retd) from August 19, 2009 to May 19, 2010 on board another India-built vessel INSV Mhadei. The first Indian non-stop solo circumnavigation was undertaken by Cdr. Abhilash Tomy, K.C. from November 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013.

Skippered by Lt. Cdr Vartika Joshi (Rishikesh), the all-woman team has Lt. Cdr. Pratibha Jamwal (Kullu), Lt. Cdr. Swathi P. (Visakhapatnam), Lt. Aishwarya Boddapati (Hyderabad), Lt. Sh. Vijaya Devi (Manipur) and Lt. Payal Gupta (Uttarakhand) as its crew members.

Ready for the challenge:  The  INSV Tarini  crew with  Vice-Admiral A.K. Chawla, Navy’s chief of personnel.

Ready for the challenge: The INSV Tarini crew with Vice-Admiral A.K. Chawla, Navy’s chief of personnel.

 

The Navy release said that the sailing encourages the use of environment friendly non-conventional renewable energy resources which affects the life of women. The expedition thereby aims at harnessing the energy to optimise the livelihood of the women on board. The voyage also aims to show case the ‘Make in India’ initiative by sailing on board the indigenously-built INSV Tarini. 

Among other things, the crew would also collate and update Meteorological/ Ocean/Wave data on a daily basis for subsequent analysis by research and development organisations. they would also monitor and report marine pollution on the high seas. Since the expedition aims to promote Ocean Sailing and the spirit of adventure, the crew is also expected to interact extensively with the local PIOs at the various port halts.

‘Sea does not discriminate between genders’

 “It is  a matter of great honour and we couldn’t have imagined anything better for our cast-off,” said  Lt. Cdr. Joshi when asked earlier what it meant to them that first full-time woman Defence Minister was coming to flag them off.

She further said, “ it is a great opportunity and great matter of pride for us that she is coming all the way to cast us off. Off course we being an all-woman team, it is a great boost to women in the country.”

“But, as we are going as sailors, and we as sailors have seen that the sea does not discriminate between genders. It is always gender-neutral and we have realised that gender does not play a role in sailing. But to boost morale in the country and for more women to take part in adventures like sailing, I feel it is great that an all-woman team has been formed,” she said.


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Printable version | Jul 16, 2022 2:07:24 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/navys-women-team-sets-sail-from-goa-to-circumnavigate-globe/article19655415.ece