By Utpal Borpujari
Bangalore-based HR executive Chaitanya Datla has become the first woman who will get a chance to sail on an Indian Navy warship.
Datla, 28, will sail on a Navy warship on an international tour after emerging as the winner among 50,000 participants in National Geographic Channel’s “Mission Navy: Lehron Ke Sartaj” reality show.
Datla, an employee with an MNC, won the competition after being declared the “most resilient, deserving and valiant” among the five finalists, the other four being Sakshi Havanoor (20) from Pune, Suranjani H R (25) and Arjun R Shetty (23) from Bangalore, and Sudhanshu Budakoty (21) from Mysore.
Datla and the other finalists got the opportunity to be a part of the Indian Navy for over a month, during which they were introduced to the academy life, underwent basic training and boarded a Navy ship.
She also learnt the science behind the submarines and other warships, was trained in beaching operations, got to perform the difficult jack stay, and underwent a G-Force test, amongst other tasks.
The competition was held as part of National Geographic’s seven-episode programme showcasing the hitherto uncharted world of the Indian Navy, replete with warships, submarines, missiles and much more.
The winner was selected by the Indian Navy based on various exercises, tests and experiences the participants went through during the month-long training period.
“It has been a privilege to be part of this unique Nat Geo endeavour and experience what it takes to be in the Indian Navy. I feel that this is a triumph for all the Indian women for whom nothing is impossible,” Andhra Pradesh-born Datla said on her win.
Incidentally, Datla, who aspired to be pilot, had also participated in Nat Geo’s “Mission Udaan: Inside the Indian Air Force” but was unable to make it to the final five.