Sonali Banerjee is the First Courageous Merchant Navy Officer of India

In a male dominating society, where women are still struggling to find some space, Sonali Banerjee marked a new journey in Merchant Navy. Her story is honorably inspiring!

Name: Sonali Banerjee

Age: 40 (approx)

About Sonali Banerjee:

Sonali Banerjee is the first Indian woman who qualified as an officer in Merchant Navy. After graduating from Marine Engineering Research Institute, she collected a distinct work experience by working for oil tankers and then attaining the role of a Merchant Navy Officer. The journey is not as easy and smooth as it seems.

Sonali is the first woman to shift the direction of the wind and change the tide for women seeking a career in merchant navy. A society where female gender is still not appreciated as bread earners in the house, she held immense courage to open the gates for women who wish to enter male-dominated work sectors. Nevertheless, there are many who have even become successful pilots.

Victory and success were never given to women as charity; they have won over many debates, arguments, fights, struggles, and battles to attain this glory. Merchant Navy is one of the challenging roles and Sonali Mukherjee had a tough challenge to convince people that even included the women against. There is no field today which is untouched by women.

Some arguments have speechless answers. Women can’t be scientists, but they carry science with them while carrying a baby in womb; women can’t be pilots, but they have the courage to train men how to walk and climb; women can’t be body builders, but they are given the responsibility to raise the entire family. It is sad to know we live in a society full of Hippocrates.

Motivational Factor:

Do women like Sonali Banerjee really need an award? They are a trophy themselves for the society and nation at large. Imagine the level of insult, disappointment, and demotivation these women go through, merely for showing an interest in a male dominated work sector. The role was very challenging for Sonali for various reasons. One of the major challenges was that she was the first woman to enter merchant navy and even the women couldn’t digest this fact.

She has gone through testing periods like proving herself capable of everything, in every challenge. People with presumptions related to her weakness of being a woman, were not always convinced of her thoughts and ideas. There were sarcastic comments passed on her at times during her career. Sonali had faced frustrating times of proving her capability during her career life. There have been situations where men were not mentally prepared to accept her at the rank of an officer and make her stand next to them.

While men were forgiven for making mistakes, she had to be extra careful to avoid even a silly mistake. Her one wrong move will question her existence in that role. I have no words for women like Sonali Banerjee who have no shortage of confidence and will to do things. They are truly an inspiration to every woman of India, who dreams to become successful.

I have many female friends who are married. They sulk with the idea of running a business or finding a good job, just because of the restrictions posed by husband or in-laws. It is sick to know when I hear some women saying that, ‘My husband does not allow me to work. He has not given me freedom to make a career.’ Why would a man hold the custody of a woman’s freedom? We are equal! After we attain maturity, even the parents (our creators) are left with little choice to choose our career path.

Consider the stories of such brave women and find your self-worth. As a woman, you are beautiful, courageous, confident, and very strong! How many women in India take care of their in-laws and husband?  Now answer vice-versa. Please accept this fact that our freedom is our existence, and no one has the right to keep it.

Every time I read such inspiring stories, I get a different positive vibe running inside me. Their determination and patience is commendable. If you are still thinking of ways to do something as a self-starter, do not wait for excuses. Identify the beauty and courage inside you and speak out for yourself, like Sonali Banerjee did. You never know if you would be the first woman in a sector dominated by men.

Featured image via : marinersthoughts

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