“Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience”.- Paulo Coelho
The unheard victory of six brave women needs to be heard. The story of the INSV Tarini is a story worth telling. The INSV Tarini is a sailboat of the Indian Navy which was constructed in a port in Goa. This boat set sail with an all women crew in September 2017, ending its journey in May 2018. The vessel was used for the Navika Sagar Parikrama: the expedition of the circumnavigation of the globe. The six member team led by Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi, comprised Lt Commander Pratibha Jamwal, Lt Commander Swati P, Lieutenant Aishwarya Boddapati, Lieutenant S Vijaya Devi, and Lieutenant Payal Gupta who managed the whole operation. All the six members were trained for three years by Captain Dilip Donde who was the first Indian to successfully circumnavigate the globe in 2009 and 2010.
The voyage lasted 254 days, with the crew covering 21,600 miles and 5 ports. They visited the ports of Fremantle in Australia, Lyttelton in New Zealand, Port Stanley in the Falklands Island, Cape Town in South Africa, and finally Mauritius before coming back home to Goa.
The crew sailed on the INSV Tarini which is a 55-foot sailing vessel, encountering rough and wild seas, high stormy conditions and sometimes severely cold temperatures. The women showed great courage and team spirit when faced with life-threatening situations–winds whose speed crossed 60 knots and waves as high as 7 metres. Apart from circumnavigating the globe on a 55 feet yacht, these brave women also collected and updated ocean data used for weather forecasts and surveying marine pollution.
The most important significance of the Navika Sagar Parikrama is its consonance with the National Policy on Women Empowerment. This voyage, through challenging conditions, paved the way to change the mindsets of people about women. The voyage also brought focus on the Make in India initiative of the government by sailing on an Indian built vessel.
These six women and their bravery highlighted India on the world map and brought home the respect that women deserve.
“A woman is like a tea bag- you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” -Eleanor Roosevelt.
Edited by Vasudha Malani
[Primary Source: Wikipedia due to unavailability of large-scale news coverage of the milestone]