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Reshma Nilofer Naha, India’s Only Woman River Pilot, Receives Nari Shakti Puraskar

  • IWB Post
  •  March 14, 2019

With a degree in marine technology, India’s first and only river pilot Reshma Nilofer Naha received the Nari Shakti Puraskar from President Ram Nath Kovind a couple of days back. She joined KoPT (Kolkata Port Trust) in 2011 and became a Hoogly river pilot in January 2018.

“As a kid, I had a pretty mediocre dream. I wanted to be a doctor. Later, I decided to do something offbeat. Nearly 90% of my seniors went for engineering and ended up joining IT firms. I feel that doing some other job after pursuing a course in core engineering is unjust. Fortunately, my parents allowed me to choose a different career,” shared Reshma, who guides ships from Sagar to the Calcutta and Haldia ports through the meandering Hooghly.

Considered a male-dominated profession, Reshma talked about an incidence where she was once questioned by the master of a Chinese vessel at Sagar, “Where is the pilot?”. “Initially, he must have thought that I was a trainee. Many mariners react in the same manner and some are even shocked. After reaching the port, the same men thank me, expressing happiness at the way I manoeuver the ship through the bars and bends of the Hooghly. That is the way to earn respect.”

Giving a piece of advice to women who dream to make a mark in their fields, Reshma suggests, “I keep telling women that how men will treat them depends on how they carry themselves. They will be respected and taken seriously only if they behave in a certain manner and prove that they are in no way inferior.”

H/T: The Times Of India 

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