Integration of Seafarers Welfare & Health – Supporting the ILO MLC and IMO STCW Manila amendment at implementation level.
The ILO Maritime Labour Convention 2006 ( MLC 2006) and the proposed IMO STCW Manila amendment paves the way for how Seafarer issues relating to Training, Safety and Environment will be dealt with in the future in relation to the Global Shipping Industry. Seafarers Welfare and Health occupies considerable position in the ILO MLC 2006 which, when in force will not only safeguard the Health of all seafarers on board and on shore, but will also address seafarers welfare issues which integrate with health and which assists seafarers to carry out their jobs in a stress free and safe working environment thus enhancing safety of the ship and their colleagues.
South Asia and in particular India has taken a leading step in furthering the Aims and Objectives of both, the ICSW and IMHA in the region through concentrated efforts by International and National Non-Government Organisations and Stakeholders of the Shipping Industry. This has helped countries in the region to address Seafarers Welfare and Health provisions as per the ILO MLC 2006. These benchmarking efforts have been recognised globally and at the ICSW awards 2010 nominations. Amongst the two nominations in South Asia, one was Kandla Seafarers Association in the category of Ports and the second was Dr. Suresh Idnani in the category Welfare Personality of the year 2010.
Dr Idnani was nominated for "being at the heart of the movement to put the welfare of seafarers at the top of the agenda". . "He took up this somewhat thankless task in South Asia at a time when few people were aware of the importance of the issue. As a result of his continuous follow up, efficient delivery systems for seafarers' welfare were established all over the region. More than ten port welfare committees now function in India. The Colombo port of Sri Lanka leads the way in welfare matters and countries such as Bangladesh and Pakistan are now on the welfare map," says the nomination. The nomination adds: "An amazing sense of commitment, great dedication and the ability to keep at the job without giving in to the normal human need for rest and personal life. In addition, Dr. Idnani also has the happy knack of not letting ego issues come in the way of delivering on pre-determined goals. For him the cause comes first and petty considerations are not allowed to dilute his zeal and commitment to this cause." .. It adds: "A person who almost single-handedly brought purpose and meaning to welfare activities for seafarers in an area where it was not on top of the agenda should be a natural for an award of this nature."
In furtherance of these efforts, Dr. Corinne Idnani opened a "Seafarers Health & Welfare Centre" in Mumbai on the 14 February 2011. The Stakeholders of the Indian Shipping Industry were invited and the Centre was inaugurated by Dr. S.B. Agnihotri IAS, Director General of Shipping, Government of India and Shri. S. Hajara, Chairman and Managing Director, Shipping Corporation of India.
A dedicated room for Seafarers Welfare activity is provided, with internet, library, telephones, TV and DVD running with Sea TV and other Informative videos for seafarers. A pantry to serve tea, coffee, snacks and cold drinks and professionals and welfare workers to provide counselling services to address Stress, HIV, Trauma etc. Transport to and from the ports and to other destinations will be provided. Assistance will be provided for onshore accommodation and for meeting the members of Mumbai Port Welfare Committee, for the coordination of ship visiting.