Seafarer's reality

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To : Honoroble minister Shri.Nitin Gadkariji, Minister for Shipping and Surface Transport
To: Director General of Shipping

Sub : Establishment of A Digital Maritime Employment Exchange, Online Petition by seafarers,reg;

Respected Sirs,
For the past few decades ministry of Shipping through Director General of Shipping had tried its best to develop Shipping and Merchant navy as a profession in our Vast country. All of us who are sailing in different capacities onboard ships are grateful to our government for the sustained support.

Sir, Please note as you are aware, due to changes in the market scenario and other reasons, many of the young seafarers who just passed out from various maritime institutions are left with out jobs. In these context, a big and powerful fraud and corrupt racket have risen who are promising the young persons jobs in return of money as service Charge. Most of these persons acts as agents and are not registered without any RPSL.
Many of the young cadets and ratings,stepping out of the country for the first time with lot of dreams, trusting the promises made by these so called agents, land up in junk , scrap or arrested ships with out food, good living conditions and salary not being paid. They become virtual prisoners for no fault of them, but only because they trusted these agents and due to lack of knowledge and awareness. Media has reported many such instances where present government has proactively interfered to save these guys.
Sir, Eventhough DG Shipping has promulgated various notices and circulars advising jobseekers to get employment only through RPSL agents, still many of the seafarers get entrapped in the faulty promises by this racket of non- registered agents. Mainly due to lack of knowledge and awareness on their part. The mere existence of these agents are the root cause of many problems faced by the Indian seafarers who get struck in foreign ships without food and salary.
Sir, In order to address this malaise, May We request your good office to promulgate a mechanism for establishment of a Digital Maritime Employment Exchange. By this we mean, having a website where all seafarers after passing out from their pre-sea institutes if with our jobs for more than 6 months, to register with all their academic credentials. Having such a website could help government to collect an accurate data of seafarers who are without employment. Further, please make it mandatory for all Registered and RPSL shipping companies to recruit the employees from this website on the basis of merit and waiting period of the candidates.

Sir, Having such an initiative could bring lot of transparency in the recruitment and placement of seafarers. Also if widely publicised, this could largely eradicate the malaise of non- approved and fraudster agents from recruitment system. If such agents are removed, we are quite sure that very few or no Indian seafarers will get struck in a foreign flag ships awaiting Mercy for their relief.

We Indian seafarers salute and support wholeheartedly all measures taken by the present government through DG Shipping to bring about transparency in Shipping.

As youngsters, we are all proud to be part of our respected and honorouble Prime Minister's New India campaign and we hope establishment of Digital Marine Employment Exchange will be a good step in this regard.

Yours Sincerely

Group of Seafarers
On behalf of
Online Mariners Support Forum.