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Odia girl becomes mariner in all-pervasive male bastion

Last Updated: Sunday, January 27, 2013 - 14:26

Kendrapara: She is a tender presence in all-pervasive male bastion. An Odia girl has broken into shipping sector which has mostly remained exclusive preserve of males.

Twenty-eight-year-old Bibhusita Das lays claim to fame for being the first Odia woman officer onboard a vessel.

Bibhusita, a marine engineer, who arrived in Paradip port recently with a coke carrying ship from Australia was felicitated by the Port trust.

Das was recruited by Shipping Corporation of India. The publicity-shy woman has opted for onboard sailing along the rough and tough seawater almost throughout the year.

When Das, who hails from a family having no link with shipping or marine sector, joined her first vessel in 2012, her master mariner wasn`t impressed. She developed sea sickness.

"The mariners on board thought that I have made a mistake to plunge into a rigorous profession. For being a woman, they felt that I may not withstand prolonged sailing and sea exposure. But I stuck to the task with tenacity and renewed vigor. I have proved them wrong," she said.

Women are equally capable of doing what men do on the vessel. They simply need exposure. “Though girls are shying away from marine engineering, it`s a challenging job that also befits fairer sex. However one needs to be gritty to cope with needs of the job,” she said.

Right from childhood days, I had developed fascination towards sea sailing. I loved reading stories on sea voyage and expeditions. I evinced keen interest in taking up career of marine engineering. My father Kurunakar Das, who retired from BSNL job last year, was very supportive. I had attained B Tech degree in marine engineering from a Bhubaneswar-based engineering institute (CV Raman).

I got the job of third engineer last year in Shipping Corporation of India, the country`s largest shipping company. I opted for onboard sailing despite unwillingness from parents.


First Published: Sunday, January 27, 2013 - 14:25
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