A disturbing issue that has been observed during the recent times, is the existence of Unlicensed Indian agents that have sent over 1,000 seafarers to Iran. Out of which a majority of Indian seafarers, mostly from states like Punjab and Maharashtra are employed on 'dead ships' at Iranian ports. According to the seafarers who have returned to India from Iran have revealed that seafarers who have illegally gone to Iran are neither paid proper salaries nor given proper food to eat.
Capt. Capt Sanjay Prashar, Director, Inetrnational Maritime Federation has been instrumental to bring the plight of these seafarers to light. This issue came to the attention of the world when Seaman Ranjit Singh went missing from dead Iranian Ship at Bandar Bushehar and the death of Palash Balsetwar, a deck cadet working for the ill-fated ship MV Mashhour who lost his life as the ship sank late on the night of March 15, 2016 near Iran. These incidents have served as wake up call for the industry. Capt. Sanjay rose to the occasion and met several such seafarers. He has become instrumental towards the eradication of this unfortunate problem and putting in a great deal of efforts to spread awareness about it as well.
He has been able to arrange a task force from Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of shipping which went to Iran for meeting the affected seafarers. They looked into illegal immigration means by which Indian seafarers are on Death ships of Iran. He travelled along with them. The delegation visited Iran to discuss the strategy for repatriation of Indian seafarers who are stuck at various ports of Iran, and have have been sent there illegally.
During the visit of Indian delegation, it's come to light that the number of Seafarers might swell to more than 100 within one week. Indian delegation at Bandar Bushehar met seven Indian Seafarers who explained how Indian agents in collusion with Iranian agents are milking money out of poor seafarers. On an average, Indian Seafarers getting employed on small Iranian ships pay about USD 7000 to board the ship. They get paid 150 USD per month only after completion of 12 months onboard service. Some of them are without food and water also.
Great progress has been made due to these initiatives in eradicating the activities of such unlicensed agents, following are some of the positive outcomes,
Source: Kavita Mishra/ TST NewsdeskPrevious Next
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