Meet the 6-member all women Indian Navy crew who will sail around the globe

The voyage, Sagar Parikrama, will see six young women officers navigating the sailboat INSV Tarini by the end of this month from Goa

For the first time, an all women crew of the Indian Navy will embark on a journey of sailing around the globe. The voyage, Sagar Parikrama, will see six young women officers navigating the sailboat INSV Tarini by the end of this month from Goa. They will be crossing as many as six seas in a span of seven months and are expected to come back in March 2018.

Lt Commander Vartika Joshi, a 28-year-old who hails from Uttarakhand, will be leading the voyage. The other members include Prathibah Jamwal who is from Himachal Pradesh, P.Swati from Vizag, S.Vijayadevi who belongs to Manipur, B. Aishwarya from Telangana and Payal Gupta who hails from Dehradun.

Lieutenant Vartika Joshi:

Lieutenant Commander Vartika was born in Garhwal in Uttarakhand and spent some years in Rishikesh. She took up aerospace engineering because aviation was more compelling and challenging. She took up a branch called naval construction, which entailed designing and construction of ships. It was in 2010 when she joined Navy and her first posting was in Visakhapatnam in 2012 as a constructor.

Lieutenant Aishwarya Boddapati

She was born and brought up in Hyderabad. Her father worked with the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). She did her schooling from an air force station. She is comparatively new to sailing and tries to put theory into practice. Aishwarya studied metallurgical engineering. In her final year, she worked with the DRDO which was then working on a component of a ballistic missile. During her work, she got to know that the Navy is looking for volunteers to join an adventure expedition, she applied and got selected.

Lieutenant S VijayaDevi:

Brought up in Manipur, S VijayaDevi has sailed extensively from 2014 onwards. As she hails from Manipur, she says she had not seen the sea and even had water phobia. It was only after joining the Navy, she says that she learnt how to swim. On being part of all women crew, she said: “I used to think the world was a small place. Now I realise the most intriguing part of the world is hidden in the depths of the ocean”.

Lieutenant Pratibha Jamwal

She hails from Himachal Pradesh and was studying there when she got selected for the Navy. Her final selection took place in Bengaluru and it was in 2012 when she has started sailing. She says that there is a difference between sailing competitions and long voyages as sailing lasts a few hours and are comparatively safer. On the other hand, one requires a lot of patience for long voyages.

Also Read: 8 incredible female officers in Armed Forces who are role models for all young Indians

Lieutenant Payal Gupta: 

She grew up in Dehradun but no one from her family was in the Army. However, since childhood, she has had an inclination towards the Armed forces and dreamt of being a part of Republic Day parade. To fulfil her dream, she applied for the Services Selection Boards (SSB) after her graduation but faced rejected five times. Later, she came to Gurgaon and started working with an MNC. In 2012, she applied in the naval recruitment and got selected. Later, she also became part of Republic Day parade. When she got selected for an all women boat, she “jumped with joy.”

Also Read: On Civil Services Day, here are 8 incredible women officers who have made India proud

Lieutenant P Swathi: 

Born in the port city of Vizag, she saw naval officers marching past her house. She initially wanted to be a doctor but to fulfil her father’s dream, she studied to become a naval officer. I was due to her hard work that at the age of 11, she was already with the naval wing of the National Cadet Corps. She says it’s not easy to be on the boat (the Mhadei) as it is not a luxury yacht. She added that it is the wind which is the biggest enemy on the long voyages but her only mantra is “Be alert”.


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