January, 2008 – Happy New Year

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From the Editor`s Desk

Hello, and Happy NEW YEAR 2008, to one and all my valued readers of “Marine Waves”.Though, serious expositions over the years in a democratic set-up, raising Seafarer’s fundamental rights made through monthly editorials of www.themarinewaves.com “MARINE WAVES” of the inherent flaws prevailing in the existing system, needing fair policing, owing to which continuance of injustice meted out by the seafarers. This is despite seafarers working hard out at sea, separated from their near and dear ones, living with risks and sacrifices, bringing in valuable foreign exchange, to their country of origin.

Their welfare continue to be neglected, owing to their not being able to form an association/union of their own, to claim their genuine rights and privileges, while those ashore enjoy all the benefits. Seafarers are also deprived of their after service terminal benefits unlike shore-based employees. While, all are equal in the eyes of the Constitution and the law, do they not have an equal right to protection of law? Seafarers expect effective policing, law enforcing machinery, reasonably quick and fair justice delivery, to one and all, citizen of the nation. Why a corrective, practical solution, not put in place, but being unmoved during this RTI Act age. It’s high time; “Social Security Bill for Seafarers” is introduced, in our democratic set-up. The Imperative needs, to really look into the work-safety and living conditions of seafarers, redress their genuine grievances; examine their aspirations and expectations evolved over the years. Prime responsibility of any government is to protect the interests of its countrymen, ensuring safety and security of their lives and property. It is unfortunate that their welfare, continue to be neglected. Consider seafarers as humans, their dignity, security, safety,welfare etc. would then boost Indian seafarers image, to be on top of the world.

Hence, why not “Officers and Ratings of the Merchant Navy, be also covered by the national commissioner ate of labour and safety”, which would bring the protective eyes of the specialised labour experts, for uniformity and fairness, importantly the voiceless seamen, to make their voices heard? Empower our SEAFARERS through the required “REAL KNOWLEDGE” for safety of cargo, ship and lives employed onboard. Hence, explore sincere drive to recruit those who are really physically and mentally-fit, ensure that they have acquired the required skills with the real will to work, to serve in the hard seas and retain productive sea- staff, minimising accidents out at sea making safe sea transport and clean environment, for optimized productive transport.

Our Government, should not continue to exploit the situation of seamen’s inability to get together and raise their genuine voice, while those employed ashore make all tall claims and achieve by mass strike and hartals owing to which, welfare of supporting services stands far and more better than the main productive transportation staff (seafarers). Fairness needed to be primarily instilled by our government, which is the fundamental right, of the seafarers. “Theory is splendid but until put into practice, or else it is valueless.” One need to keep abreast with updates, in one’s own line of discipline and as well as that of one’s interest to excel during this fast life. “Reasonably painful effort, brings you with everlasting gain”. Short cuts are always short-lived. “Being busy does not always mean real work. Our object to work is to be meaningful, on the desired quality and quantity of production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be a real good forethought, system, planning, intelligence and an honest purpose, as well as the needed perspiration. Seeming or appearing to do work is not doing. Keep yourself physically and mentally fit at all times, to keep you upright and give you’re best, for you and to the society at large.

“MARINE WAVES” publication is independent. We are not ship-owners, nor a charity obtaining funds from any industrial organisations, neither philanthropists nor we form a part of any government, nor a seafarers union. We believe in honesty and efficiency, instilling fairness and justice on humanity towards our seafarers in our thoughts and action. Our observance:- Lack of transparency and accountability in the system, lack of effective corruption reporting mechanisms, lack of honesty in the dealing staff and officers of Mercantile Marine Department, owing to their inadequate training and orientation,but for exploiting the weakness of the seafarers in active sea service.

In plain truth, seafarers in active service are bound to be scary, to rake up any confrontation with the MMD officials and hence such corrupted officials get protected, not getting exposed of their undesired unlawful acts and unfair means of dealing with them. It is the media to expose the corrupt officials. Citizens should make good use of the media to express their assent and dissent, in true sense. Hence every citizen is partly responsible, for the state of governance, instead blaming the Executive or legislature or the judiciary, as a whole. One needs to accept the facts that err is human. The four pillars of democracy need to be duty bound, taking a fair and just decision, in their respective discipline, with mutual respects of each. The media needed to be regulated for factual investigative reporting, to increase awareness among people, about their rights and act as a reliable source of information and on the basis of which civil society organisations and public authorities could work to bring down the incidences of arbitrary abuse of authority. It is the bounden duty of the PRESS to carry only facts, nothing but facts and must be un-biased. There should be no imagination of facts or exaggeration of facts or else it will create a bad impression and tarnish the image of the media. Every right thinking citizen, need to encourage the media in any form, to come out with facts for national growth and development. Our nation suffers, not because of the violence of bad people but because of the silence of good people.

Dr. Chandran Peechulli,
Ex.Chief Engineer(Marine), G.M.(Tech) Crossworld Shipping.
Managing Editor & Publisher-“MARINE WAVES” International Maritime Newsletter.

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