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Navy chief, INSV Tarini crew tell girls to dream big, go beyond comfort zone

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New Delhi, Mar 6 (PTI) Hailing the all-women crew of Indian Navy's sailing vessel Tarini as a "role model" for the youth, Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba Wednesday exhorted girls to pursue their dreams with vigour and have the courage to take the extra step beyond their comfort zone. He was addressing students and naval officers at an event held at the Lady Shri Ram College for Women here ahead of the International Women's Day on March 8. After sailing into record books, the inspiring story of the 254-day maritime odyssey of the INSV Tarini's six women crew members, who circumnavigated the globe, was showcased in a documentary that premiered at the event and received a standing ovation. The film, 'Tarini' on the historic expedition -- Navika Sagar Parikrama -- will air on the National Geographic channel on March 8 to mark Women's Day. Led by Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi, the crew had achieved the feat, braving treacherous seas onboard the 55-foot sailing vessel, built indigenously. "The Navika Sagar Parikrama was envisaged with the philosophy of challenge and the spirit of adventure... They sailed for nearly 199 days out of the total of 254 days of the expedition, covering 22,000 nautical miles, and facing rough seas, scorching sun, biting cold and freezing winds with an unrelenting spirit," Lanba said. The expedition was flagged off from the INS Mandovi boat pool in Goa on September 10 in 2017, and the team had returned to Goa last May. The other crew members were -- Lt Commanders Pratibha Jamwal and Swati P, and Lieutenants Aishwarya Boddapati, S Vijaya Devi and Payal Gupta. The six women officers had trained under Captain Dilip Donde, the first Indian to circumnavigate the globe solo in 2009-2010. The expedition comprised six legs, with stopovers at the Fremantle (Australia), Lyttleton (New Zealand), Port Stanley (Falkland Islands), Cape Town (South Africa) and Mauritius. They covered five countries, touching the equator twice, passing through all longitudes, and the three Great Capes -- Cape of Horn, Cape of Good Hope and Cape Leeuwin, he said. The crew returned in May 2018 to an overjoyed nation filled with excitement and a proud navy, Lanba said. "The crew demonstrated unflinching resolve and solid fortitude facing challenges and tough conditions, and in doing so, joined an illustrious league of women whose accomplishments have contribute to the discourse of women empowerment in the country," the Navy chief said. The expedition has showcased the 'Nari Shakti' on the world platform, and done the nation proud by displaying the Indian flag in distant countries and showing seafaring capabilities, he added. "These brave women officer are role models and they will serve as an inspiration to the youth of our nation and to young women," Lanba said. "You frequently stumble on opportunities to do something outside the comfort zone. It is very easy to say no (to going out of the comfort zone). So, take courage to do things that make your hands sweat and your hearts race," he said. He also exhorted the girl students to take that "extra step". "The only way to overcome fear is to embrace it . So, have the courage to take the extra step, and you will realise neither the sky nor the horizon is the limit," Lanba said, to an applause. Lt Cdr Joshi during an interaction held later with the students also urged the girls to believe in themselves and feel confident. The women naval officers also shared the challenges they faced during the expedition, and how they overcame it, while bonding as a "Tarini family". S Vijaya Devi spoke about the time when she had to climb a tall mast to fix it, and a student asked, if she was not afraid to do so in mid-sea. "We undertook this journey knowing not what would lie ahead, and so, this journey taught us a lot of lessons," she said. Joshi used the metaphor of the mast to drive home a lesson, "One can be scared of being at the top or enjoy the view. Choice is yours." The story of Tarini expedition indeed inspired students present there, who watched the premiere show, and applauded several times during the screening. Chhahat, an English Honours student of Lady Shri Ram College and an NCC cadet, who came dressed up in the corps uniform said, "I got goosebumps watching the documentary. It was very inspiring." "The film taught us to be brave and take meaningful risks in life," said the student, who is daughter of a retired colonel. "My father retired from the army and, both my brothers are serving as army officers too. So, it felt special," Chhahat said.PTI KND ANB ANB

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