GUWAHATI: Landlocked Manipur is agog about a woman who had never seen the sea before she joined the Indian Navy and now on a voyage to circumnavigate the globe.
Lt Shougrakpam Vijaya Devi is a member of India’s first ever all-woman crew that set out on the sail-round-the-world voyage on September 9 on a indigenously made sail boat named INS Tarini. The six-member team is led by Lt Commander Vartika Joshi. The other crew members of Navika Sagar Parikrama are Lt Commander Pratibha Jamwal, Lt P Swathi, Lt Payal Gupta and Lt B Aishwarya.
The crew members will be back home in March 2018.
For Vijaya Devi it has already been quite a journey, having overcome a phobia of open water. “In our region, there is no sea. So, it is only after my selection in the Indian Navy that I saw the sea and learnt how to swim. But initially, I used to get drowsy and nauseated at the sight of sea water. I am not afraid now,” the woman from Manipur said.
Vijaya Devi first aspired to be an Army officer. She says it was destiny that steered her to a career in the Navy.
“The Navy was not in my scheme of things. I always wanted to join the Indian Army. Upon finishing my post-graduation from Delhi University, I came across an Indian Navy advertisement and applied. I cleared all the tests to be where I am today,” she said.
Lt Vijaya Devi has already become quite a star in her home state, known for its women achievers like boxers Mary Kom and L Sarita Devi and weightlifter Kunjarani Devi.