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Thursday, May 6, 2021

Bring our seamen back Mr. CM., Time is running out’ – Deepali Desai





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The lockdown period to fight the Coronavirus has brought families together. Many Goans who work or study in other states returned home to be with their families. However, approximately 10,000 families in Goa are still hoping for their sons to return home. Yes! Our Seafarer Goan brothers need your attention, Mr CM. They need united voices of Goans to bring them back. 

In the past few days, I have seen my Goans appealing the state government to look in the matter of Goan seafarers. The COVID-19 lockdown has left thousands of our Goan brothers working on cruise liners stranded at sea. So far there is no decision made on their repatriation. From our homes, we can only imagine their plight. We can only imagine the stress their family must be undergoing currently.

 

It’s a crisis so let’s not delay the decision-making process 

Question No 1: Is the State Government too dependent on the Centre?

Does the State Government have any plan as of today? While we need to understand that since different countries are involved in the process the Central Ministries would represent the country but as of today there has been a delay and even those seafarers on the domestic boats are stranded. When several countries are using their chartered flight to receive their citizens, why can’t the Central Ministry along with State Government use the date available with Goan Seamen Association of India (GSAI) and at least initiate the process?

 

They are our brothers, stranded and awaiting help!

Question No 2: Is the delay to bring our brothers home justified?

GSAI representative Dixon Vaz had met the Chief Minister a few days ago urging him to act on the matter. According to him, the conditions on-board is a matter of concern in terms of supply of food and space. Many crew members are stuck around the world as the entry into the ports have been denied by the countries. Centre and the State government are aware of this situation yet one wonders why this matter isn’t on the priority yet.

Here is what is the need of the hour:

  • Goa Government should chalk out a plan, instead of 100% dependency on the Centre. The issue is of utmost priority to Goa and hence, the onus is first upon the State Government.
  • Like the countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines sent special fights to repatriate their crew, India must consider this as the first option.
  • An immediate rescue committee must be formed, headed by CM, Ministry-in charge, Seafarers association with State Administration and Health Officials to lay out a list of the men stranded in India and abroad. The men can be divided into the groups and they must be placed under quarantine not anywhere else but in their home state. The State Government must include all hotels/ guest house as quarantine centres.
  • The demand for testing kits should be placed for timely delivery
  • And lastly, the State Government must send an assurance to our boys to put themselves together in these tough times.

COVID19 Pandemic is a Health & Humanitarian Emergency

Let’s understand COVID-19 is not just a health emergency but equally humanitarian crisis. Away from their homes, families and hometown, these men are desperately awaiting help. With each day’s delay, the risk of their health and well-being gets aggravated. Let’s acknowledge, the help must reach faster.

[Deepali Desai is an independent journalist. She has had over 9 years of experience working with India’s top TV news channel including Times Now, NDTV and NewsX]

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Very true. Families are anxiously awaiting their loved ones return and its not been easy . There are many Goans stuck in the UAE too and all the Goans stranded abroad need to be brought back asap. I cannot understand why india is one of the few countries to have turned it’s back on it’s very own countrymen. Goa should look into this and arrange for direct flights to Goa so as to bring home our Goans safely back home. My husband too is stuck in dubai along with many fellow Goans and is waiting to get back home. In the given scenario it is so risky being away from home and when everyone is asked to stay home and be safe it is absolutely important no prioritize the matter and get our people back home urgently.

  2. There must be a Campaign to inform the people that the real heroes are the Social Workers and not the Actors. We are depend on the Social Workers whereas Actors are depend on us. Pictures of Social Workers must be displayed in the houses and halls instead of the pictures of the Actors. Social Workers must be called to attend any Cultural Functions. Social Workers must be invited for inauguration of any Shops, Restaurants, etc. Social Workers are the Real Heroes!

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