Dr. N. Reuben Paul Chairman of Merchant Navy Welfare Board (India) conducted seafarers welfare conference. The members of MNWB Advisory Board and PWC Maharashtra participated the conference on 16th Nov 2022 at Taj Club Room, 6th Floor Taj Santacruz Hotel, Mumbai, India with the dignitaries and international delegates in the presence of Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia – Henry (The President of WMU, IMO), Dr. Godwin Ibah (SWO UK Regional Director) Dr. Ilona Denisenko (President of WITSA, Russia), Mrs. Elpi Petraki, Greece (President of WITSA International) Mrs. Kathryn Neilson ( Maritime skills Director MNTB, UK).
Dr. N. Reuben Paul, Chairman of Merchant Navy Welfare Board (India) welcomed members and international dignitaries to the meeting and invited Capt. Tushar Pradhan General Secretary of ITF Affiliated Maritime Union of India to chair this special meeting. The Members representing various Port welfare Committees of Tamandu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and all other ports in have discussed about the present welfare facilities available for seafarers in the Ports of India and to establishment and development in other remaining ports of India. Dr. B. Antony Vice Chairman of the PWC of Tamil Nādu given detailed report about the seafarers’ welfare activities in Chennai, Tuticorin and Ennore Ports. He added that shore leave is a big challenge for the visiting seafarers in all Indian Ports. Capt. Mohan Naik Chairman of Mission To seafarers Mumbai Committee & Director of Dynacom Tankers Pvt Ltd has explained to the participants about the history of MTS Seafarers welfare centre in JNPT that He was approached by the Mission to Seafarers, London to open a welfare centre in JNPT few years ago. He then took initiative and signed triparted agreement with Flamingo and JNPT the centre was established. Few years later, the port authorities started the extensions of railway tracks inside the port because of it the given building was taken by the port authorities for port developments and allotted a new building to operate it as seafarers’ welfare centre. The building is presently under renovation which will be ready for full operation very soon. Revd. Nitin Port Chaplain of Mission to Seafarers has explained about the good work of Mission to Seafarers in various Indian Ports and the presence of Flying Angel clubs around the world. Dr. N. Reuben Paul Chairman of MNWB and the Chairman of Sea Mission Organization has prepared the detailed report about the present seafarers’ welfare services done in various ports by Port welfare committees in Indian Ports. He also presented detailed report about the welfare services of the Sea Mission at Ports of Visakhapatnam, Kakinada and Gangavaram in Andhra Pradesh to all the members. Dr. B. Antony has given PPT presentation on about the good work of MNWB in Indian Ports and how it helped seafarers at times of ship distress, abandonment, and accidents at sea. His presentation also included the present charitable activities and past activities during the covid pandemic in India by MNWB. The members special Invitees and International Delegates has applauded the good work of Merchant Navy Welfare Board in Indian Ports.
Dr. Babu Mailan chairman of ISWOT added that some ports are charging commercial rates for running of the seafarers welcome centres inside the port by the seafarers’ welfare organizations. He also placed the request to all the port authorities to reconsider the PPP agreement and provide the place to establish the welfare centres for the visiting seafarers to the Indian ports with nominal rent to the Seafarers Welfare Organisations as it is done in Kandla and Visakhapatnam ports based on the signed agreements for collecting nominal fee.
Dr. Vidya Chairperson of Dr. Leobarnes Foundation said that their Trust which was founded by his father Late Dr. Leobarnes is doing many charitable services to the seafaring community especially providing financial assistance to the children of Seafarers for their higher education. All seafarers who are need of financial assistance for their children’s education can also contact through MNWB help line team she said. Capt. Deulkar Ex. Chief Port Officer of Maharashtra and Gujarat State Ports said that seafarers visiting Minor Ports and Private Terminals are facing difficulties so the MNWB member organizations should cover all Minor ports in India. Mr. Manoj Yadav General Secretary of FSUI added that seafarers ‘welfare visitors should extend their visits to the minor ports in India. Sea Mission is operating welfare centre at Kakinada private port and the sea mission staff are offering excellent services to the main fleet vessels and offshore vessels crew and the same kind of services to be started in all minor ports he added.
Dr. Ilona Denisenko President of WITSA Russia added the importance of seafarers mental health and the importance of women seafarers in the maritime industry should be taken into the consideration during the seafares welfare services. Mrs. Kathryn Neilson MNTB Maritime skills Director, UK said the importance of the Maritime Training and skills should be consider in the greenery shipping. Dr. Godwin Ibah OF SWO Regional Director, UK added that seafarers spiritual and mental counselling is very much important for seafarers those who face the stress due to work pressure and hectic voyages, Mrs. Elpi Petraki, International President of WISTA, Greece added that the role of women seafarers in shipping industry is growing and the welfare organization should give more attention to the women seafarers at all the ports worldwide. Mr. Manoj Yadav General Secretary of ITF Affiliated FSUI said that MNWB and its member organisations are already striving hard to promote seafarers’ welfare at all Indian Ports. Our Indian seafarers are facing problems in many foreign ports and as unions everyday receiving many complaints from seafarers from various ports around the world and unions also very busy in assisting seafarers in Foreign Ports. He added the painful situation faced by the crews of M.T. HEROIC IDUN should be brought out for the immediate action in the Maritime industry so there is very need a global coordination to promote seafarers’ welfare in foreign ports.
Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia – Henry, The President of WMU, IMO who is also known as mother of MLC 2006 added that MLC 2006 was rectified by many countries but MLC 4.4 implementation is still pending because of this many causalities and accidents are still happening in many ports in the world and onboard the ships. The seafarers welfare organizations ‘role is very much important to bring the awareness in world ports so this demands welfare agencies should see the welfare work to be carried out in all country’s accordance with the MLC 4.4 she added. The members felt that the spirit of networking and coordination on these issues should be given more priority among the seafarers’ welfare organisations in India and the global level. Hence Global coordination among seafarers ‘welfare organizations is very much expected for betterment of Seafarers welfare and to protect rights of the seafarers when they are in distress in Foreign Ports. Finally, The Chairman, participants, special Invitees, and international delegates expressed their happiness for the good work of Merchant Navy Welfare Board (India) and its member organizations. Capt. Mohan Naik Chairman of Mumbai MTS Committee & Director of Dynacom Tankers Pvt Ltd given vote of thanks to the members, International Delegates and for Dr. N. Reuben Paul Chairman of Merchant Navy Welfare Board (India) for organizing the meeting.
Source: Merchant Navy Welfare Board (India)