Recognising the efforts of the state in combating the coronavirus pandemic, and for their understanding of the predicament of the mariners and those supporting from ashore, member-lines of leading maritime apex bodies FOSMA and MASSA have recently donated Rs. 25 lakhs to the CMRF COVID 19, Maharashtra. The chairmen of both the associations met and personally handed over the cheque to Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray.
This generous contribution comes on the heels of their earlier such donation of Rs 12.40 lakh in July 2020. Taking the opportunity to acknowledge the hardships faced by their brethren at sea in these challenging times, Captain Prashant Rangnekar, Chairman of MASSA said, ‘Our seafarers have rendered their service without much ado, stayed on board ships way beyond their period of duty because they could not get home due to lack of transport facilities resulting from nationwide travel restrictions’. ‘Seafarers of FOSMA and MASSA have been assisting in the battle against COVID 19 by moving essential goods, thereby, keeping the wheels of global trade running even in such challenging times’, added Dr. Sanjay Bhavnani, Chairman of FOSMA.
Since the coronavirus pandemic hit India, FOSMA and MASSA has been living up to their stature as the representatives of the shipping industry and seafarers. In June 2020, these two bodies had joined hands to transport about 4,000 Indian seafarers on Chartered flights at reduced costs in order to help these seafarers come back home, or report to shipboard duty safely during these tough times of restricted travel. Based out of Mumbai, FOSMA (Foreign Owners Representatives and Shipmanagers Association) and MASSA (Maritime Association of Shipowners, Shipmanagers & Agents) are non-profit organisations that represent shipping companies, owners, managers, agents and seafarers. Also, providing education and training to seafarers, these associations help in appointing qualified seafarers on board ships, 75% of which are owned and operated by foreign companies.