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NUSI marks international womenís day with helpline launch

National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) has celebrated International womenís day with the launching of counseling help line for wives and family of seamen of NUSI on 8th March at Mumbai. Dr Malini Shankar, Director General of Shipping (DGS) presided over as chief guest of the programme and launched the helpline.

In her address, she exhorted women to realize their untapped potential to achieve the real spirit of empowerment.  Dr Shankar further commended wives of seamen for donning the dual role as homemaker and head of family when the men of family are away at sea.

Nishi Kapahi, Education and Womenís Coordinator, Asia/Pacific Region of International Transport Federation divulged the increasing awareness of women about health and gender issues. She further emphasized that more women should come forward to take up seafaring career on a par with men.

Dr Navya Singh, professional psychologist and counselor detailed women about the scope and use of helpline in tiding away ordinary psychological health issues including stress and familial relationship difficulties. She said that seamen wives undergo enormous stress in tending to children and taking care of in-laws where in they need a professionalís help to guide and sort out their issues.

Advocating the idea of helpline as a confidential healing process, Dr Singh said the identity of the caller would be kept anonymous and help seekers can dial in to discuss any of their ongoing domestic issues that is taking a toll on their mental well-being.

Mr Abdulgani Serang, General Secretary, NUSI briefed seamen wives how the helpline could be tapped to alleviate  stress, suicidal tendencies and depression arising out of minor domestic strife and straining of relationship among family members.

In a bid to financially support the wards of seamen pursuing higher education abroad, NUSI has introduced a cash award programme with the doling out of Rs 2 lakh assistance to a ward studying in foreign university. This year the NUSI cash award of Rs 4 lakh was given by DG Shipping to a seamen family whose two children are studying medicine in Russia. Banking and insurance awareness programmes were also conducted to inculcate financial planning to tackle unforeseen exigencies.  


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