Setting Sail: ISWAN’s awareness workshop for young cadets in Mumbai

March 06, 2023

On 1st March 2023, ISWAN's team in South Asia hosted a successful and well-attended workshop aimed at raising awareness among young seafarers of the challenges they may face at sea.

The half-day event, entitled 'Setting Sail: Seafarers' Education and Awareness Session', took place at the Maritime Training Institute Auditorium in Mumbai. The workshop's goal was to raise awareness among young seafarers about the various challenges they may face while at sea and to provide them with tools to address those challenges effectively.

The workshop began with a thought-provoking address by the Guest of Honour, Capt. Shiv Halbe of the Maritime Association of Shipowners, Shipmanagers and Agents (MASSA), to the cadets, guests, and panellists. Capt. Halbe emphasised ISWAN's contribution to resolving issues and difficulties faced by seafarers, while also warning young cadets about the activities of fraudulent agents. This was followed by ISWAN's International Operations Manager Chirag Bahri's SEAS (Seafarers Education and Awareness Session) presentation, which focused on seafarers' mental and physical wellbeing, piracy and maritime threats, recruitment and placement at sea, cultural adaptability, and gender sensitivity.

Panel discussion chaired by ISWAN Trustee Michael Pinto (centre)

Michael Pinto, (I.A.S. (Retd.), Trustee of ISWAN), moderated a panel discussion (pictured) with industry experts including Capt. Venkat Keshav (AFNI, Fleet HSEQ-Risk Manager), Capt. Subroto Khan (Director, TS Chanakya), Capt. Tushar Pradhan (General Secretary, The Maritime Union of India), and Rahul Dwivedi (Marine Engineer). The panellists discussed the importance of being vigilant on board, as well as punitive measures that can be taken against fraudulent agents. The workshop concluded with a Q&A session in which the panellists and guests answered questions from the young cadets.

A mind-mapping quiz was used by ISWAN's team to gauge the level of understanding of the young cadets before and after the panel discussion and SEAS presentation. The findings revealed an increase in awareness of the topics, emphasising the importance of mandatory pre-departure sessions at all Indian training institutes. The workshop's initiative has received praise from esteemed guests, panel members, and even young cadets who have taken to the internet to express their interest in attending future workshops.

ISWAN’s Chirag Bahri said:

'ISWAN has been constantly taking several initiatives to make our seafarers and young future forces better aware, prepared and empowered to help them cope with the challenges that they might have to face at sea that further improves their overall wellbeing at sea. The success of this workshop motivates and encourages the dedicated team at the charity to further reach out to more cadets and ratings not just in India but internationally as well. We look forward to working with like-minded organisations to take this ahead.'

ISWAN's team in South Asia is grateful to Capt. Halbe for addressing the workshop, the expert panellists, and guests for adding value to the workshop, as well as all the young cadets for taking the time to attend and respond to the workshop activities. We would also like to thank our sponsors - Campbell Shipping, MTRF, ITF, SCI, Marex Media, and Sea Job - without whom the workshop would not have been possible.

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