On Friday 9th February, the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) held a seminar/workshop at the Maritime Training Institute in Powai, Mumbai with the theme: ‘Further Enhancing Seafarers’ Welfare – Challenges and Opportunities – Going Forward’.
The venue hosted a gathering of representatives from the shipping industry, maritime unions, administration, training institutes and the welfare sector, along with seafarers and cadets. The Chief Guest was Dr Malini Shankar, IAS, Directorate General of Shipping India and the Guest of Honour was Dr Sujata Naik, Chairperson at Tolani Shipping Company Ltd & Tolani Maritime Institute.
ISWAN Trustee Deepak Shetty opened the seminar with a summary of national perspectives on fostering seafarers’ welfare. ISWAN’s Executive Director Roger Harris followed with a presentation on the mental health and wellbeing of seafarers and how ISWAN is addressing the issue. Michael Pinto, ISWAN Trustee and Chair of ISWAN India’s Programme Steering Group (PSG), then chaired and moderated an interactive session with four of the speakers representing different areas of the maritime field.
Delegates heard from Gaurav Trivedi, a seafarer sailing with the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), about the challenges currently faced by seafarers and what more can be done to provide them with better welfare facilities. Former seafarer Suneeti Bala moved the audience with her powerful presentation on promoting gender diversity in the maritime workforce.
Dr Sanjay Bhavnani, representing a crewing agency, shared perspectives on how seafarers’ welfare could be improved, and Abdul Gani Serang from the National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI), spoke on the various initiatives that his maritime union had undertaken to provide welfare support to seafarers and their families.
Finally, the day concluded with the chance for delegates to take part in an interactive question and answer session. The Chief Guest, Guest of Honour and ISWAN’s Regional Director of South Asia, Chirag Bahri, expressed their thanks to all involved with the event.
ISWAN wishes to thank all the participants along with its partners and funders for their continued support in facilitating the best possible welfare support mechanism for seafarers and their families. ISWAN would also like to thank the Shipping Corporation of India and Maritime Training Institute for hosting the seminar.
Pictured (left to right): Abdul Gani Serang, Michael Pinto, Suneeti Bala, Dr Sanjay Bhavnani and Gaurav Trivedi