Nirmala Sitharaman: All-women Navy team’s globe circumnavigation is historic
It is for the first time that an all-women naval crew will be managing a sailing vessel which will attempt to circumnavigate the globe.india Updated: Sep 10, 2017 16:18 IST
Newly-appointed defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman termed as historic the circumnavigation of the globe by an all-women Indian Navy team from Goa on Sunday.
“This is not an occasion which can happen once in five years, once in ten years. This is a historic day for India. (It is) a historic day, which will be marked in navigation history and globally as well. Our women are going to stand out for doing something which mostly wouldn’t even have been thought of,” Sitharaman said, flagging off the ‘Navika Sagar Parikrama’ at the INS Mandovi naval training base near Panaji.
It is for the first time that an all-women naval crew will be managing a sailing vessel which will attempt to circumnavigate the globe.
“It is a great pleasure and it is an opportunity which no one can easily get,” said Sitharaman, who had just days ago described her elevation from minister of state of commerce to defence minister as “cosmic”.
‘Navika Sagar Parikrama’ would be covered in five legs with stopovers at four ports — Fremantle (Australia), Lyttelton (New Zealand), Port Stanley (Falklands) and Cape Town (South Africa) — for replenishment of ration and repairs as necessary, before returning to Goa in April next year.
The crew has so far sailed approximately 20,000 Nm onboard 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 Dec 16.
INSV Tarini, a 55-foot sailing vessel has been built by Aquarius Shipyard, Goa, and was inducted into the Indian Navy earlier this year.
“The project is considered essential towards promoting ocean sailing activities in the Navy while depicting Government of India’s thrust for ‘Nari Shakti’,” a defence ministry statement said.