In what can be termed a one-of-a-kind initiative, six officers of the Indian Navy who will sail around the world in India’s first attempt to circumnavigate the globe by an all-women crew.The six Indian Navy officers will begin the sea journey later this month from Goa; they expect to return to the coastal state in March 2018. The expedition has been named Navika Sagar Parikrama, and the crew will stop at four ports in this journey – Fremantle (Australia), Lyttleton (New Zealand), Port Stanley (Falklands), and Cape Town (South Africa).
The vessel will be captained by Lt. Commander Vartika Joshi, and the crew comprises Lt. Commander Pratibha Jamwal, Lt. Commander P Swathi, Lieutenant S Vijaya Devi, Lieutenant B Aishwarya and Lieutenant Payal Gupta. The crew has been training for more than two years for this mission, a significant one considering no military women’s team anywhere in the world has circumnavigated the earth till now.
Earlier, women were inducted only in the Armed Forces Medical Core till 1992, and it is from July 1992 that the Navy started inducting women as Short Service Commissioned Officers in select branches. While this journey, can be labelled a test of physical and mental endurance, it is also significant in the Indian Navy’s open acceptance of women, in its folds. As an organization working for women’s rights and a gender equal society for more than three decades, these are the kind of initiatives which truly reflect a changing mindset, which we hope to see more of in the years to come.
We wish the girls all the best, and will certainly track their progress with great eagerness!