Chandigarh, 5 October: 2019: ‘World Maritime Day’ was celebrated with the theme – ‘Empowering Women in Maritime Sector’, at an event held at Golf Club, Sector 6, here.The event was organized by the Merchant Navy Officers Association (MNOA) in collaboration with Company of Master Mariners of India (CMMI) (Chandigarh Chapter), Nautical Institute North West Chandigarh and Institute of Marine Engineers India.The event started with the National Anthem followed by Lighting of the Lamp by the Chief Guest Vice Admiral (Retd) A.G. Thapliyal AVSM BAR, B. S. Mangat, President, MNOA, Capt KS Sandhu, Master Mariner, Capt MS Judge, Chairman, CMMI(Chandigarh Chapter) and Iqbal Singh, Chief Engineer (Retd.) On Board Ship IMEI.In keeping with the ‘World Maritime Day’s’ theme this year – ‘Empowering Women in the Maritime Community’, eminent speakers from different walks of life enlightened the audience with their remarkable speeches.The Chief Guest Vice Admiral (Retd) A.G. Thapliyal AVSM BAR and the Guest of Honour, a serving lady Master Mariner Capt. Akriti Barthwal graced the evening with their thoughts.Speaking on this occasion, Balbir Singh Mangat, President, MNOA said, “The shipping industry is male dominated and women feel some insecurity to join it. To remove this apprehension among prospectibe women shippers there should be stringent rules to ensure security and safety of women onboard the ships.”He underlined that the at present the women work force in shipping industry is just 2 to 3% only and there is a large scope for increasing numbers of women in shipping industry, both on shore and off shore.He emphasized that MNOA will work towards the cause of empowering women in the maritime industry, by raising awareness from the grass root level, by holding workshops and lectures in schools.Capt. Jaipdeep Singh Khatri, Vice President of MNOA, Chandigarh added that, “It’s very important to empower women in the maritime sector’. Shipping is the heart of global economy and it needs women to ensure its sustainability.”Master Mariner Capt. Akriti Barthwal shed light on the challenges for women in the Maritime sector and said, “The major challenges are some people, who have a negative mindset towards women and believe that women can’t do shipping and underestimate their credibility.”She emphasized that gender equality is a concern which should be addressed from the grass root level. She also urged to promote women more in sailing & shore jobs and unlock the door of opportunities for them, so that more young girls aspire to join the Maritime sector.Capt. Mohan Singh Judge, Chairman of CMMI (Chandigarh Chapter) summed up the evening with his inspiring speech and expressed his deep gratitude to all the dignitaries and the guests, who made the evening memorable with their presence on the celebration of ‘World Maritime Day’.Among others who gave informative talks were Dr Joginder Mukherjee, Supreet Dhiman, Neelam Malik. Ajit Singh and Capt KJS Sujlana also graced occasion.