Chennai girl Reshma Nilofar Naha is all set to become world’s first woman river pilot. In six months, Naha will be piloting ships from sea to the Kolkata port. She will pilot ships through a distance of 223km.  Out of which, 148km will be up the Hooghly – considered to be one of the treacherous legs with its sharp ‘bars and bends’. Currently, Reshma is undergoing training at the Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT).

Talking about the role of a river pilot, Vinit Kumar, the KoPT chairman said, “The role of river pilots is crucial as they have knowledge of the river and can guide the ships into port. We have 67 river pilots in service and Reshma will start her job soon.”

Here are ten significant things to know about India’s first woman river pilot:

  1. Naha, is originally from Chennai, and holds a B.E. in Marine Technology from Birla Insitute of Technology, Ranchi. She studied at AMET, Kanathur in Chennai. Her majors include Nautical science plus marine engineering. 
  2. Naha, was recruited by KoPT in 2011. She also has a year’s experience at sea as a cadet.
  3. Having studied at SBOA Marticulation in Anna Nagar. After she saw an ad from AMET, she realised that the maritime industry was a good platform to work for. 
  4. She has sailed with the Maersk line, for two years before joining Kolkata port trust in April 2011. The Danish shipping company, has the biggest container ships in the world.
  5. For her, the biggest inspiration is a strong support system that she has in her parents, siblings and friends.
  6. She never wished for a stereotyped profession. This is one major reason, why she took up a path-breaking job as this one. She wanted a challenge every day for the rest of her life. 
  7. After joining KoPT, she obtained the 2nd and 1st mates competency certificates from the Directorate General of Shipping. Recently, she cleared the Grade III Part-I examination from KoPT. In the next six months, she will qualify as a Grade III pilot.
  8. Naha calls herself an amateur photographer. She is an avid social media follower and likes to write.
  9. In an interview, when asked about the profession being male-dominated, she quickly replied:

“Who is labelling some professions as male dominted, and others as not male dominated? Unless we allow men to dominate a field of work, nothing is male dominated.”

10. As a Grade III pilot, Reshma will initially be assigned smaller vessels.Eventually, she will graduate to Grade II and Grade I and take charge of large ships like Panamax vessels – nearly 300m-long with a capacity of 70,000 tonnes or more.

When the first Lady Marine Pilot in India, was asked how safe the sea is for women. She stated-

“It is a common belief that one needs to know swimming and what not to be safe on the ocean. However, the current safety regulations and the safety equipment available through dependable manufacturers have ensured that safety is no longer an issue.”

We are proud of you Reshma Nilofer Naha. More Power to you!

Also: India Records Maximum Number of Women Pilots in the World

Featured image source: Twitter

Bhawana is an intern with SheThePeople.Tv

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