Introducing NUSI, Winner of the Welfare Organisation of the Year Award 2015

January 11, 2016
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Introducing NUSI (National Union of Seafarers of India), Winners of the 2015 Dr Dierk Lindemann Welfare Personality (Organisation) of the Year Award

This award is bestowed upon the organisation which has made an outstanding contribution to seafarers' welfare.

Who are NUSI?

NUSI, the National Union of Seafarers of India, represents more than 80,000 Indian ratings and petty officers. NUSI is over 100 years old, and celebrated its centenary in 1996. It has also initiated a range of welfare activities through its trust for both active and retired seafarers and their families.

What services are provided by NUSI?

NUSI provides pre- and post-sea residential training and statutory courses at its maritime academies in Goa and Nhava, and residential training at its institute exclusively for seafarers in the Offshore industry. Its resort in Lonavala includes a home for elderly seafarers, a holiday home, as well as a trade union training centre. It also runs a hospital in Goa for seafarers and their families. NUSI's support office offers unlimited free snacks, as well as a free computer service to all seafarers.

Over 3,000 widows have already benefited from NUSI's financial assistance, while over 7,000 seafarers have benefitted from its medical benefits. The children of ratings and petty officers can get education grants. NUSI also has a scholarship grant which gives girls an extra 50 percent. The NUSI youth committee organises welfare and medical camps which include an HIV/AIDS awareness programme and inform seafarers and their families about NUSI's services.

What does winning mean to NUSI?

"It definitely means a lot to me and my organisation", says Mr. Abdulgani Y. Serang, NUSI General Secretary, "Winning the Dr. Dierk Lindemann Welfare Personality of the Year Award has further motivated us to work towards the welfare and benefit of the seafarers and their families."

What has happened since winning the Award?

One very recent welfare scheme is the Education grant for Wives of Seafarers. NUSI conducted a study and came to realise that many seafarers' wives are also undertaking college studies and other courses. NUSI noted that some of the wives of the seafarers are studying Ph. D., Chartered Accountancy and other similar courses. It has been decided that NUSI Education Grants will be extended to the seafarers' wives who wish to pursue higher studies.

What are NUSI's upcoming plans?

The Offshore and Cruise line industries are fast growing sectors and have increased considerably the world over, including in India. Several major international offshore and cruise companies are scheduled to launch over the next few years in India. NUSI has been actively involved in organising and educating the seafarers working on offshore and cruise ships. Seminars and workshops are also being conducted for the benefit of the seafarers. The above mentioned seminar gains significance as there is a tremendous potential for jobs for Indian seafarers and also for other hopeful applicants in the Offshore and Cruise Line industries.

NUSI, along with the industry stakeholders, has also initiated various skill enhancement training courses in order to increase the proportion of Indian seafarers in national and international shipping.

In terms of technology, NUSI has begun the development of a "NUSI APP". The "NUSI APP" apart from providing details of various welfare activities, will also provide details related to Maritime administration. Furthermore, NUSI is in the process of providing seafarers with WI-FI facilities at the Indian Seamen's Hostel & Indian Sailors Home. More than 1500 seafarers reside at these premises in Mumbai. They are often required to access internet for various work-related activities. As such, they have to frequently visit internet cafes and spend good amount of their earnings there. NUSI will bear the expenses of setting up the WiFi facilities and the monthly expenses for its usage so that seafarers can have free Internet access.

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