Women Ahoy!

An all-women team sets out to circumnavigate the globe in a one-of-a-kind expedition 

Aditya Kakkar

New Delhi: Six women naval officers will make history as they circumnavigate the globe in an expedition titled ‘Navika Sagar Parikrama’ which will conclude in 2018. The Indian Navy has walked the talk on women empowerment and ensured that women officers lead the way when it comes to seafaring adventures. The one-of-a-kind expedition will encourage more women to take up sailing, either as naval officers or civilians. It will be covered in five legs with the Pacific leg being the longest. The crew will stop and replenish their supplies at Fremantle (Australia), Lyttelton (New Zealand), Port Stanley (Falklands) and Cape Town (South Africa).

An all-women team sets out to circumnavigate the globe in a one-of-a-kind expedition

The attempt to circumnavigate the globe can also be seen as a way to promote India’s soft diplomacy, as oceans become more perilous with nations making hitherto unknown territorial claims. The skipper, Lt Cdr Vartika Joshi from Rishikesh is confident and well versed with the ocean, having trained extensively for the mission. She will be accompanied by equally accomplished officers, Lt Cdr Pratibha Jamwal from Kullu, Lt Cdr Swathi P from Visakhapatnam, Lt Aishwarya Boddapati from Hyderabad, Lt Vijaya Devi from Manipur and Lt Payal Gupta from Dehradun. “We learned everything from scratch - whether it was how to repair stuff, or to rescue someone in an emergency,” said Lt Cdr Joshi.

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