Seafarers Welfare is considered with due importance Merchant Shipping Act., 1958 specifies exclusive provisions for the seafarers welfare. A tripartite committee headed by Union Minster of Shipping and consisting of representations from all stakeholders viz the Government ship owners and seafarers decides and monitor the welfare issues of Indian seafarers.
The welfare measures for Indian seafarers are carried out by Government bodies, trusts as well as private trusts. The Government organizations and the welfare measures undertaken by them are as follows;
Seamen’s Provident Fund Organization (SPFO):
Seamen’s Provident Fund Organization functioning under the Ministry of Shipping. The organization is mainly responsible for collecting the provident funds of the seamen from the respective shipping companies, manage the fund and distribute to the respective seamen within the frame work of its rules.
The SPFO is also developing a continuity annuity scheme for the seamen at present.
The schemes of SPFO is limited only to the seamen and the sailing officers on board ships are not covered within the schemes of SPFO. Details of SPFO and the Scheme may be viewed from the website of SPFO and the schema may be viewed from the website of SPFO at www.spfo.gov.in
Seafarers Welfare Fund Society(SWFS)
Seafarers Welfare Fund Society (SWFS). Seafarers Welfare Fund Society was constituted in pursuance of the recommendations of a Special Sub-Committee set up by the National Welfare Board of Seafarers as per the provisions under the M.S. Act. with the sole purpose of providing welfare facilities to seamen and to do all other such things as in the opinion of the society are conductive to the welfare of seamen including aged, invalidated, distressed or destitute seamen or the families of seamen. The general management and the control of business and the affairs of the Society is vested with the Committee of Management(COM) and all the Members of the COM are nominated/ appointed by the Central Government (Ministry of Shipping). The Director General of shipping is the ex-officio Chairman of the Society. Welfare Schemes: The Society at present runs the following welfare scheme:-
- Monthly Ex-gratia Monetary Assistance(MEMA)
- Ex-gratia assistance on death to the widows/dependents of deceased seamen.
- Gratuity Scheme
Details of SPFO and its schemes may be viewed from this website of Directorate General of Shipping ____________.