Confined spaces and monotonous routine of seafarers aboard cargo vessels often leads them to boredom, homesickness, stress and depression.
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Industry body Maritime Association of Shipowners, Shipmanagers and Agents (MASSA) on Saturday said it plans to meet minister of state for shipping Shripad Naik soon on the issue of shore leave permission to Indian sailors at the Mumbai Port.
Shore leave allows crew members to disembark the ship for a limited period for taking break from their work. The period of the leave can vary depending on the time their ships are scheduled to be on the port.
The central government grants such permission to seafarers working aboard ships that visit Jawaharlal Nehru Port. However, sailors aboard ships docked at the Mumbai Port do not get shore leave.
“A delegation comprising senior MASSA members will soon meet the Union Minister of State for Shipping Shripad Naik in Mumbai to discuss the issues related to denial of shore leave by the Indian government at Mumbai Port,” said Girish Phadnis, chairman of MASSA.
The meeting with Naik, Minister of State for Tourism and Ports, Shipping and Waterways, is expected to take place as soon as June 25th, which is also observed as the ‘International Day of the Seafarers’, Phadnis said.
Both Mumbai Port and JN Port are among the 12 major ports under the administrative control of the central government.
MASSA said, the denial of shore leave to the “seafarers, who have rights for shore leave, is a grave injustice”.
In the pre-Covid period, shore leave was allowed to sailors at the Mumbai Port as well, the industry body said.
It said that seafarers working without adequate shore leave are more vulnerable to mental exhaustion which gravely affects their efficiency.
Around three lakh highly-skilled Indian seafarers serve various specialised cargo and cruise ships globally throughout the year, MASSA said.
Confined spaces and monotonous routine of seafarers aboard cargo vessels often leads them to boredom, homesickness, stress and depression. The mental health of seafarers is thus boosted through shore leaves, it added.
Source : Money Control