June, 2010 – Editor`s Page

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From the Editor`s Desk

Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it, even, if I may not have it at the beginning. ….. MOHANDAS KARAMCHAND GANDHI

“Courage is the resistance to fear, which is the result of good mental and physical health”. With some techniques in, `Mastery of Martial arts` – the close combat fight, we therefore overcome “the thought of fear, which leads to absence of fear”.. ….. SRI SAI R. VENKATAKRISHNAN

“Achievement of Success comes to only those who make up a goal and sincerely tries. No one can get anywhere unless one knows as to where one wants to go, wants to be or do.”…..Dr. CHANDRAN PEECHULLI

We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself……SWAMI VIVEKANANDA

MARINE WAVES do not only aim to protect seafarer`s interest, but to consistently view their welfare and ensure that they are not exploited by vested interests in the maritime industry, re-assuring them to voice their rights and privileges as a non-government organization sector. To further address, the economic concerns of our fisher-folks and port workers, with a constant re-view of optimizing our huge maritime resources towards national economic development. It is therefore imperative to streamline our “National Maritime Administration”, with the requisite infra-structure, assigning most competent(with rich sea experience and updates, adding to relevant post qualification as experts). Duty-conscious mariners, willing to serve the government efficiently, in the office of the Directorate General Shipping with carefully drawn Policies and Procedures meeting to the times, to realistically prove superior or else there exists better qualified mariners sailing out at sea, as Captains and Chief Engineers, Superintendents etc. and as well as THOSE serving in Maritime Educational Training Institutions/Colleges. To ensure fair-play, enforcement of customer – employee friendly policy and procedures for ship registry and maritime administration, with seafarer-friendly welfare policies,viewing occupational hazards, piracy menace, living and working conditions out on the deep seas, away from near and dear ones. Do conduct sensible, comparative studies from time to time, with leading shipping registries and enactment of realistic policies for adoption and implementation.

These endeavors need to be a continuous process, in competing and excelling towards better performance efficiency. Fair treatment of seafarers: Seafarers are “Innocent Human-being”, as they have no tall claims when compared to shore-based employees. They bring in valuable foreign-exchange to their country of origin. Even, during seafarer`s limitations of period ashore, needs to attend for renewal of CDC, Passport, Driving License, Civil authorities, EB, Ration Card, mandatory refresher courses etc. as per the regulatory mechanisms in force without relaxations. Knowing the weakness of this maritime community who are expected to be with their near and dear ones, during their hard-earned leave period, from out at sea service, they are being harassed and humiliated by deliberate dragged delays to exploit and grab money as bribes. Seafarer`s Safety, Security, Welfare and the human element as a whole, is in a neglected corner. Seafarers are in-secured.

FOC vessels are the prime violators:-which is encouraged by the world body (IMO), owing to their pumping-in more funds, which is for compensating seafarer`s exploitation. Message to Seafarer`s booklet from ITF, misguides them (seamen), on the contrary, victimized when reported, as the ITF representative at port connives with the local shipping agents and the said Master of the vessel. Corruption is on the rampant. Those seamen who highlight such lacunae ought to have been compensated. We in the enlightened society, have a responsibility to ensure that people, plant and process can effectively interrelate, to ensure safe, sustainable and dependable maritime services. ILO Convention and other international instruments are inadequate to ensure true protection of Seafarer`s Rights & Privileges. Lack of affective enforcement hampers “Seafarer`s Rights”. Please view as to what extent the improvement in National Laws and regulatory procedures help in protecting the rights of seafarers? How can National/International Trade Unions and other seafarer`s welfare organization be better net-worked and strengthened to ensure protection of Seafarer`s Rights?

Management of international shipping companies, have failed in not coming forward to form a consortium to combat “PIRACY” Why? While, as per natural law, it is employers basic responsibility to protect their employees. Also, Bulletin Alert! Considers these shared responsibilities and demonstrates convincingly that all these links in the chain of responsibility are important, and need to be considered. Safe, sustainable and dependable shipping depends upon all those interests, considering their own contribution to the end result. It is of not much use “operations department” doing their job, if they are being undermined by the financial rug being pulled from under them, or the owners` efforts being hazarded by ignorant or unscrupulous charterers. There is tough talking in the issue of Alert! from contributors like Lloyd`s Register`s Richard Sadler, who suggests that those at the top in our industry have an obligation to improve the social conditions of seafarers, and from Anglo-Eastern`s Captain Pradeep Chawla, who argues cogently for a more realistic attitude to costs. Clay Maitland urges a `climate of inclusion` for seafarers. There are contributions from all the `links` in the chain of maritime responsibility. And the celebrated Alert! Center-fold summarises the responsibilities which those in the financial, underwriting, P&I, broking and chartering communities need to remember as they undertake their specialist work. We need to consider these shared responsibilities and recognise that CSR is a lot more than producing some nice words on a policy document.

The ILO`s Maritime Labour Convention is aimed at improving the social conditions of our seafarers especially in this, “IMO`s Year of the Seafarer”, to prevent mistreatment – their living and working conditions and rewards. We have not improved enough and have allowed our seafarers` social status to be eroded. Crew shore leave restrictions prevent crews enjoying the much needed relaxation that they would otherwise enjoy. I don`t see aircraft crews, having to stay on their planes for six months as they fly around the world. In fact I see them having preferential immigration channels and being treated as VIPs. Are seafarers such a security risk and so unwelcome that they cannot be offered the same courtesy? We know that operating a ship is not just about having knowledge of the equipment and systems, but also, we have to be able to execute this knowledge properly with respect to safety and long term benefit. We need to design the equipment and the working practices that surround them with the human interface in mind. `You put a good person in a bad system and the bad system wins` – no contest! You cannot have a safe, sustainable or responsible business without sound technology that is suitably managed and operated by suitable people in a suitable culture and environment. That is why in Lloyd`s Register we consider that the integration of our asset technology capability with our human element business and Quality Assurance activities contributes to a suitably holistic view on safety.

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

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