On Saturday’ 6th April, Dr. Madhubala Joshi Chinchalkar, also known as the ‘Polar woman’, shared her experiences about Antarctica. She is a doctor by profession. She was a part of the 36th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica.Located around the South Pole, Antarctica is a region which does not belong to any country. No one can settle there or visit for tourism purposes. It can only be used for research. It is beautiful and fascinating, yet unforgiving and dangerous.
India has two research stations there. She visited Maitri, one of the two Indian research stations. She said that Antarctica is a continent covered by ice throughout the year. It is the coldest, windiest and driest place on earth. The environment is very harsh. Storms can last for almost 8-10 days there. The temperatures can reach as low as 890 C.
Polar nights are experienced there when the sun does not rise for two months. Aurora rays can be seen which are only visible from there. The moon seen from there looks as the same size as the sun. She talked about the flora and fauna also. She showed the students samples of rocks and the special clothing worn there. No one can create any pollution there. Any plastic being taken there must be brought back to the earth. She talked about how the food supplies are kept.
Her talk was indeed very interesting and inspiring.