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Seamen don’t get adequate rest

You should rub your teeth and gums with mustard oil and salt mixed together inside your left palm and rubbing the teeth and gums with right hand index finger for five minutes and later rinse the mouth. Do it only once a week because otherwise the tooth enamel will get eroded faster. On other days, your chosen toothpaste will be good enough. Okay, you are more modern and savvy, show me a line then which says, rinse your mouth with a good mouth wash prior to sleeping? In 1995-96 our ship was anchored in Norwegian port and I had consulted a dentist for toothache. The doctor and her assistant had performed a good job and cleaned my teeth carefully. Later they asked me how often you visit a dentist in India. I replied we often consult a dentist when toothache occurs.

We clean the scavenge drain from the cylinder to the common pipe but not beyond upto the scavenge tank. It is here you will find blockage especially if the ship has been trading in cold areas. Everywhere we find hours of work and hours of rest. The better term in place of “ Rest” will be “ Sleep”. Half of the seamen don’t get adequate sleep even when they get an opportunity to do so.

These days we find the Tokyo memorandum of understanding and Paris memorandum of understanding busy checking “ X” signs on the sheets. The “X” sign denotes negativity. I requested these August bodies to undertake study on 10 ships which are older than 15 years under each classification society, and to find out how many oil fuel tanks on such ships are not utilised and have not been internally examined. However, there is silence because here some work needs to be done. Checking merely the “X”s and passing detention orders or imposing fines is an easier job.

Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006 in the present form may be a fairly good document but it certainly lacks a soul. It’s vision remains confined to millimeters on the ship. But a seaman continues to remain a seaman when he gets off the gangways till he rides on it again after vacation.

Preventive health care, practice of Yoga and pranayams vastly contribute to improved health. They are known to be permanent cures for chronic ailments. Every task cannot be accomplished perfectly at one go, constant improvements in MLC 2006 will surely be sought for from time to time.

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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