This month, the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network’s (ISWAN) Regional Director in South Asia, Chirag Bahri, delivered ISWAN’s Pre-Departure Piracy Awareness Training during a visit to Chennai.
Chirag was invited by the Indian Maritime University to deliver the training to 17 participants from Africa, who were on an Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) course under the Ministry of External Affairs exchange programme. He introduced Best Management Practices and trained participants on preparing vessels and crew prior to sailing in high risk areas, coping in captivity and what precautions should be taken during the release process. The day-long course was a success and participants requested that Chirag explored the possibility of delivering the training in maritime institutes in their own countries.
While in Chennai, Chirag also presented to seafarers at MASSA Maritime Academy and the Hindustan Institute of Maritime Training (HIMT) on the importance of being prepared for a crisis. He spoke about ISWAN’s current campaign encouraging Indian seafarers to seek employment through registered crewing agencies. He also strongly advised the seafarers not to be complacent while transiting through piracy-infested waters.
Chirag also met with port officials and the Mercantile Marine Department (MMD) Principal Officer in Chennai, who he briefed on ISWAN’s work around encouraging ports to establish Port Welfare Committees (see portwelfare.org for more information). The senior port officials pledged their support to the programme.
In addition, Chirag represented ISWAN at a National Maritime Day celebration event on 5th April at the Seafarers’ Club in Chennai. He briefed guests, including the senior maritime fraternity, on ISWAN’s work and appealed for support of its campaign against unregistered crewing agencies.
ISWAN would like to thank its partners and the maritime institutes in Chennai for their kind support.