Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi presented the prestigious Nari Shakti Puraskar 2017 to the members of the INSV Tarini team, which sailed around the world, here today. Gandhi congratulated the six-member all-women team comprising Lt. Commander Vartika Joshi, Lt. Commander Pratibha Jamwal, Lt. Commander Swathi Patarpalli , Lt. Aishwarya Bodapatti, Lt. SH Vijaya Devi and Lt. Payal Gupta, and said that INSV Tarini team “is an inspiration for the future generation to excel in a sector that has historically not seen the participation of many women”.
She also added that Nari Shakti Puraskar is one step towards acknowledging the team for their exemplary courage and team spirit. President Ram Nath Kovind conferred the Nari Shakti Puraskars on International Women’s Day (March 8) at the Rashtrapati Bhavan but as the INSV Tarini team was sailing then, the award could not be presented to the team, according to a WCD Ministry statement. The crew of the Indian Navy Sailing Vessel ‘Tarini’ is a part of the Indian Navy’s unique project ‘Navika Sagar Parikrama’, an all-women team circumnavigating the globe, promoting ocean sailing activities in the Navy and depicting the Government of India’s commitment towards women empowerment.
Each crew member has minimum of 20,000 nautical miles sailing experience. The voyage also showcased the ‘Make in India’ initiative by sailing on-board the indigenously built INSV Tarini, the statement said. The voyage, which lasted for 254 days with 199 days at sea, covered 21,600 nautical miles, had five port calls in Fremantle, Australia; Lyttelton, New Zealand; Port Stanley, Falklands; Cape Town,South Africa and finally at Mauritius before returning home to Goa. The team had to face strong winds of more than 60 knots and very high waves of up to seven metres. The crew used an indigenously built INSV Tarini, a 55-foot sailing vessel.
The vessel also encountered rough seas, high stormy conditions and severely cold temperatures making the expedition an extremely challenging one.