India’s first full-time woman Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman flagged off ‘Navika Sagar Parikrama’ today. The expedition aims to circumnavigate the globe. An all-woman team of the Indian Navy is attempting the feat, a first of its kind from India. Former Defence Minister and the current Chief Minister of Goa Manohar Parrikar attended the ceremony.
The expedition is being undertaken on an India-built 55-foot sail boat INS Tarini and the crew is expected to return to Goa in April 2018.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed his best wishes to the crew members on their journey to circumnavigate the globe.
“Today is a special day! 6 women officers of the Navy begin their journey of circumnavigating the globe on board INSV Tarini,” PM Modi tweeted.
“The entire nation comes together in wishing the all- women team of Navika Sagar Parikrama the very best in their remarkable endeavour,” he added in another tweet.
“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 was quoted by the Hindu.
“… Best wishes to the all women crew for a successful journey,” CM Parrikar tweeted.
The expedition will be covered in five legs and it will have four stop-overs (Fremantle, Australia; Lyttleton, New Zealand; Port Stanley, the Falklands; and Cape town, South Africa). The crew will replenish it’s rations during their stop-overs and undertake repairs if necessary.
The crew comprises of Lt. Commander Vartika Joshi, Lt. Commanders Pratibha Jamwal, P Swathi, and Lieutenants S Vijaya Devi, B Aishwarya and Payal Gupta. The vessel is being skippered by Lt. Commander Joshi.