CHENNAI: Arati Prakash Patole (20) had her eye on the prize. Her wrists moved with casual precision, her gaze unwavering, even as she was surrounded by participants and onlookers at the Best Welder Competition for Women, organised by the Indian Institute of Welding (IIW) on Friday.
The contest for women is in many ways inspired by Arati when she won the ‘Best Welder Competition’ 2017 in which both men and women took part. “After that, we thought we should have a competition separately for women to encourage them to take up welding,” said Rashmiranjan Mohapatra, MD, Kemppi India.
Eighteen female students and professionals participated in the contest, of which five were from Chennai.
Sharulatha R, an engineer at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) Perambur, who accompanied three participants representing them said, “Initially, health risks associated with welding was a common fear among women. The safety gear that’s available today quelled their fears. Now, they take pride in doing what is traditionally considered a man’s job.”
“Indians are considered to be at an advantage, as far as welding is concerned, because they have better flexibility of the wrists,” said Arun Kumar Bhaduri, president, IIW. The results of the competition will be announced in two days after samples are tested against international standards, he added.
Shaju K Albert, VP, IIW and associate director, IGCAR and TV Prabhu, chairman, IIW Chennai were present.