In an attempt to laud the efforts of women setting new benchmarks in the historically male-dominated maritime industry, Union Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya virtually flagged off an all-women crew onboard Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) vessel MT Swarna Krishna. Led by captain Suneha Gadpande, the vessel has now reached Vadinar port in Gujarat with 48,688 metric tonnes (MT) of crude oil.
“The Indian woman power always creates history. For the first time in history, a ‘cargo ship’ commanded by a woman captain with only lady officers has been flagged for its voyage,” Mandaviya had tweeted after flagging off the vessel from New Delhi through video conferencing.
HK Joshi, Chairman-Cum-Managing Director at SCI emphasised on how the enterprise has always been a true advocate of ‘empowered womanhood’, and honoured women who have ‘dared, endeavoured and sacrificed’ to achieve it.
“All seafarers on board MT Swarna Krishna are certified to sail in foreign waters and have the experience of sailing to foreign coasts. The ‘All Women Officers Sailing’ was an event to acknowledge and display the capabilities and competence of women officers discharging their duties diligently. These officers are also the Indian brand ambassadors in the global maritime sector,” an SCI statement said.
Sanjeev Ranjan, Secretary,Shipping; Sanjay Sethi, Chairman, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust; Rajiv Jalota, Chairman, Mumbai Port Trust, and Amitabh Kumar, Director General, Shipping attended the virtual ceremony.
"The move demonstrated the gradual shift in the perception of seafaring as a male-oriented profession and the principles of diversity and inclusion that SCI upholds. SCI has been a pioneer in employing women seafarers onboard its vessels and has implemented various initiatives including age relaxations and fee concessions to aspiring female cadets through its Maritime Training Institute to promote their integration into the maritime sector," the statement said.
(Edited by Amrita Ghosh)