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Pushing for Life-long ‘Key Workers’ Status for Sailors, Maritime Body Draws Centre’s Focus on ‘Declaration’


Maritime body MUI on Sunday urged the government to take cognisance of ‘Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change’ in the formulation of Maritime India Vision 2030. The Neptune declaration primarily focuses on recognising seafarers as key workers by all governments worldwide.

The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways of India will be formulating ‘Maritime India Vision’. The Maritime Union of India (MUI) General Secretary, Amar Singh Thakur, said, “The Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change, a declaration released by the global maritime industry recently, primarily focuses on recognising seafarers as key workers by all governments worldwide in line with the UN General Assembly resolution adopted on December 1, 2020.

While finalising the intricacies of Maritime India Vision-2030′, The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways of India should hence permanently accord the status of ‘key workers’ to Indian seafarers.” The MUI, which is the oldest union of merchant navy officers, said since seafarers are the frontline workers of the maritime industry carrying 90 per cent of global trade, it is extremely important to take care of their mental and physical well-being during unusual circumstances and crises such as pandemic, war, etc.

“If designated as ‘key workers’ by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways of India, Indian seafarers will be able to play a pivotal role in the global supply chain in the future through implementation of high-quality crew change protocols and SOPs supported by the Indian government,” Thakur said.

Suntech Ship Management Company Managing Director Sanjay Srivastava said, “The Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change also highlights the implementation of high-quality health protocols aboard cargo vessels world-wide.” Indian seafarers have been traditionally known for their determination since ages as they have continued to trade through ships despite the roughest seas or piracy infested waters, he said.

The proposed Maritime India Vision 2030 document should also lay emphasis on the novel initiatives to strengthen social, mental and physical wellness of Indian seafaring workforce, Srivastava said adding that such a move will indeed enhance the global share of Indian seafarers in the years to come.

At the recently concluded ‘Chintan Baithak’, Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Minister Mansukh Mandaviya discussed modalities to bolster the growth of Indian maritime sector by designing and implementing Maritime India Vision 2030 in consultation with the stakeholders of the Indian shipping industry.

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