Nirmala Sitharaman flags-off all-women crew of Navika Sagar Parikrama from Panaji

Almost a week after she took over as the country's first full-fledged woman Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday flagged-off all-women crew of Navika Sagar Parikrama at the INS Mandovi naval training base near Panaji.

Nirmala Sitharaman flags-off all-women crew of Navika Sagar Parikrama from Panaji
Pic Courtesy: @indiannavy

Panaji: Almost a week after she took over as the country's first full-fledged woman Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday flagged-off all-women crew of Navika Sagar Parikrama at the INS Mandovi naval training base near Panaji.

The crew of the 'Sagar Parikrama' comprises of six-member all women team on board the sailing vessel INSV Tarini and will circumnavigate the globe in approximately 165 days. 

The official Twitter handle of the spokesperson of the Indian Navy shared an image of the Defence Minister and captioned it as, "Hon'ble Raksha Mantri Flags off Navika Sagar Parikrama."

"This is not an occasion which can happen once in five years, once in ten years. This is a historic day for India. A historic day, which will be marked in navigation history and globally," Sitharaman said, after flagging off the 'Navika Sagar Parikrama', at the INS Mandovi naval training base near Panaji.

"Our women are going to stand out for doing something which mostly wouldn't even have been thought of," the Minister said.

"It is a great pleasure and it is an opportunity which no one can easily get. To be among, these great, inspired and well-motivated women sailors, who are going to take this challenge," she said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday also extended his good wishes to the all-women Indian Navy team. "Today is a special day! Six women officers of the Navy begin their journey of circumnavigating the globe on board the INSV Tarini," he tweeted.

"The entire nation comes together in wishing the all-women team of Navika Sagar Parikrama the very best in their remarkable endeavour," he tweeted further.

'Navika Sagar Parikrama' would be covered in five legs with stopovers at four ports (same ports as Captain Dilip Donde called on) for replenishment of ration and repairs as necessary, before returning to Goa in April next year.

The first Indian solo circumnavigation was undertaken by Captain Dilip Donde of the Indian Navy.

The all-women crew has 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 on December 16.

INSV Tarini, a 55-foot sailing vessel has been built by M/s Aquarius Shipyard Pvt Ltd, 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.