July, 2006 – Editor`s Page

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From the Editor`s Desk

The cause of all sorrow is the foolishness that refuses to recognize the true nature of self. One should be able to identify what is good and understand its genuine advantages without getting confused due to misunderstanding. The value of good guidance becomes crucial when there are plenty of opportunities to easily get eluded about values and when doubts arise about what is to be done to get good results, and what is to be avoided to keep away bad repercussions.

Decision-makers have to be absolutely sure about what is essential and reject the unwanted keeping to the times. Discipline is indispensable if one has to make headway, irrespective of the field one chooses to explore. There is an urgent need primarily to harness the bare basic requisite marine technology with pragmatic administrative measures, instead of taxing the over-stressed seafarers. National Maritime Administrators need to sit back and think of universal approach to Standard Practice and Procedures, with scope for furthering the quality benchmark which works better and safer, considering updates with Research & Development, meeting the necessities of time-value, assuring the best quality possible in performance efficiency. Classification Standards are evolved as a result of in-service experience, expanded research and sophisticated analytical tools, continuing evolution incorporating sophisticated risk assessment methodologies into the classification rule making process.

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act; the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, while the process is its own reward”……….. Robyn Davidson

Look at the ground realities, intentions and capabilities, with a vision to improve employability of quality men onboard the vessels, purely on merits, physical, mental and willingness to work, matching supply with ever increasing demand for skilled professional, for a credible approach to ensure safe ships, cargo and safety of men employed onboard vessel. Our maritime education is yet to come to grips with the problems that exist under legitimate restrictions. Imbibe Duty, Dignity, Discipline with specific policies aimed at the growth of maritime labour intensive sectors, which should be managed in a manner, there is no compromise in Safety, Health and Environment, maintaining efficiency evolving progressive healthy code in future development of marine industrial relations.

The need, to find socially active, selfless group of integrity, ability and commitment to lead the cause of “Seafarers Welfare”. Present day affairs creates a false feeling of protection to seafarers rights towards seafarers welfare. Lack of reporting system, represented by the incompetents, without workplace knowledge and living conditions in a multicultural set up. Hazards at work: Physical, ergonomic, chemical, carcinogens, hearing losses integration of unregulated sectors. Reporting of accidents and diseases, disability evaluation. Lacking a comprehensive approach. Ensure Seafarers Lifestyle, to keep healthy attitudinal changes. A study on the type of seafarers-their personalities-worrying and stress effects. Happiness provides health. Senses-Mind-Brain,thought process. Shorten waist-line to lengthen life-line etc. Ethical/Safety Issues need to be addressed urgently.

Though the feedback is invited and received by dgshipping website, goes without any response from them. If that be the case, where is the clarity or transparency? The present day qualified Ratings, while reporting for Watch keeping Certificate after their practical experience onboard, during their hard-earned leave, are also failed. Can they take responsibility of whom they have passed? The need for conducting themselves, at least in a fair, transparent manner, by providing them guide-lines beforehand, of the theoretical knowledge they are expected to equip with, instead why put them in a state of uncertainty, prior to facing the viva voce? Harassment of this nature needs to be seriously viewed. All this owing to administration generally run by a conglomeration of those backed with apprenticeship for shipboard works, a four year harbour / CIWT apprenticeship or from T S Dufferin/ Rajendra/DMET, then comparing themselves with the IIT ians. Do agree, updates absorption, cannot be enforced which is of individualistic interest. Their limited focus of mindset, left with lot of injustices to the seafarers calling for MMD services. Such of those Surveyors/Examiners, from the floating Captains / Chief engineers entry, were not prepared to speak to the candidates of their genuine grievances, if at all to know the ground- realities but evincing interest in only meeting the Management Staff of Shipping Co`s/Shipyards/Maritime Institutions/ Colleges etc. Hence, there is no room for fairness and transparency in the dealings with seafarers, for necessitated transactions with MMD staff. In the prevailing situation, the dgshipping website be made viable for interactions, towards a crystal clear interface.

We hope, the “Right to Information Act” invoked in India would be a starter to make governance transparent and sensitise the people to the Act. ie. Procedural uncertainties, lack of time-frame for services rendered to seafarers, unnecessary delays and frustrations caused to seafarers calling from out-stations, with unwanted formalities, thus incurring their valuable time, which being criminal waste of their hard-earned shoreleave, unreasonable outstation stay, causing time, effort and money in lodging/ boarding/ food conditions etc., besides held up during week-end for two days, on account of the 5 day week functioning of M M D`s. etc. which had deterred many seafaring citizens. Seafarer`s inability to address their day to day genuine difficulties needs to be viewed with a humanistic approach.

Dr. Chandran Peechulli,
Ph.D; MBA; D.Sc; FIE(India), PgDIMS(UK), PgTED; FIIPE; MSEI; MSNAME(USA),
Ex.Chief Engineer(Marine), G.M.(Tech) Crossworld Shipping.
Managing Editor & Publisher-“MARINE WAVES” International Maritime Newsletter.

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