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Safety and Welfare of Seafarers
- Seafarer is a sailor, seaman, mariner, or seafarer is a person who navigates waterborne vessels or assists as a crew member in their operation and maintenance.
- To deal with potential maritime security situations arising out of any hijacking at sea of merchant vessels with Indian crew, an Inter-Ministerial Group (IMGO) was set up by the Government under the Ministry of Shipping.
- The Government had also approved a Contingency Plan for dealing with piracy and hijacking of merchant ships and constituted a Committee of Secretaries on Anti-Piracy and Hijacking at sea (COSAPH).
- Active participation by India in the security meetings of the International Maritime Organization, Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) and other international fora.
- The Minister further informed that a Seafarers Welfare Fund Society has been set up for the welfare of Indian seafarers and their families.
- To provide and maintain a fund by the name of the Seafarers’ Welfare Fund;
- To prepare the annual budget of income and expenditure in respect of the Fund for submission to the Central Government.
- To sell, lease, mortgage, surrender, exchange, dispose of, or otherwise deal with, all or any part of the movable or immovable property belonging to the Society or in its possession or occupation, subject to such limitations as the Central Government may from time to time impose;
- To invest in any security or keep in deposit with any bank and otherwise deal with any moneys of the Society in such manner as may, from time to time, be prescribed by the Central Government.
- To give pension, gratuities or charitable aid to employees or ex-employees of the SWFS or to their wives, children or other relatives or dependents.
The functions of the SWFS are as follows:
- To implement welfare schemes for the retired seafarers and their families on completion of age of superannuation/voluntarily retired seafarers permanently medically unfit for seafaring job.
- To implement welfare schemes for the families of the seafarers.
The following welfare Schemes are being implemented by the SWFS for the Seafarers:
- Survival Benefit Scheme
- Invalidity Benefit Scheme
- Maternity Benefit Scheme for Female Seafarers.