An entire Indian ship for the first time in world maritime history will be commanded by women, in an effort to recognise women breaking down stereotypes in the formerly male-dominated maritime sector.
The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways said on Sunday said that, Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya flagged off the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) vessel MT Swarna Krishna with an all-women crew on board, reports The Hindu.
The Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways "virtually flagged" the vessel off on 6 March, according to the report.
"The Shipping Corporation of India, as a part of its ongoing Diamond Jubilee celebrations and also to commemorate the International Women's Day on 8 March, 2021, achieved another feat when Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Ports, Shipping & Waterways, virtually flagged off the 'All Women Officers' Sailing' on MT Swarna Krishna – SCI's product carrier from JNPT Liquid Berth Jetty on 6 March, 2021," the ministry statement said.
Mandaviya recognised the contribution and sacrifice of women seafarers who served as Indian ambassadors to the international maritime community and made the country proud, according to the statement.
HK Joshi, CMD, SCI, spoke of the unabated and relentless pursuit of SCI to realise the 'paradigm shift' in the maritime sector which has recognized and honoured the 'empowered womanhood' in seafaring women who have dared, endeavoured and sacrificed to achieve it.
Secretary Shipping Sanjeev Ranjan, Chairman JNPT Sanjay Sethi, Chairman, Mumbai Port Trust, Rajiv Jalota, and DG Shipping Amitabh Kumar attended the ceremony virtually and commended the efforts of the women seafarers.
"The move demonstrated the gradual shift in the perception of seafaring as a male-oriented profession and the principles of Diversity & Inclusion that SCI upholds," the statement said.
"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," it added.