On behalf of all of us in the Indian Maritime Foundation (IMF) I wish to extend our warm greetings and congratulations to the British Maritime Foundation, on the occasion of the Maritime Media Awards reception, and on offering this year the new publication Maritime.
The Awards reception is a grand event year after year, masterfully organised by the Maritime Foundation, which is much looked forward to and attended by the international maritime fraternity in the UK – naval, merchant marine, fisheries, as well as representations from numerous shipping and port organisations. Selecting the winners from the very high standard of entries received annually is an onerous task but it is achieved admirably by the judges.
I had the honour of being invited from India to the Maritime Media Awards dinner as the guest speaker in 2007. The event was held on board the MV Silver Sturgeon, a popular venue on the Thames. It was a memorable visit for my wife Gita and me, and I am so grateful to Countess Mountbatten and the British Maritime Foundation for the hospitality and courtesy extended to us. The occasion underscored the close and friendly maritime relations, and indeed the ongoing networking, between our two Foundations in India and Britain.
I am going back to the years 1994 and 1997 when the IMF was in its infancy and formative years and we were seeking guidance from like-minded and experienced charities in the maritime field. I had the good fortune to meet Mr Anthony Harvey at the Nautical Institute’s office in London. It was a fortuitous meeting, greatly beneficial to me, and I felt most encouraged to go on with my plans. The IMF has not looked back, and since then we have collaborated closely with our colleagues in Britain in many ways to promote maritime awareness among our people. I must add that from this networking and these exchanges between us, the IMF has been enriched enormously and we are grateful for it.
The IMF is now a mature charitable, non-governmental organisation, in its twenty-fourth year, run entirely by volunteers who are navy veterans and former merchant marine officers.
Our goal when we first set out in 1993 was – as it remains – to raise awareness of the oceans and to rekindle maritime consciousness and pride in our people. In other words, our goal is to make our people sea-minded in our vast, subcontinental nation which has largely had a continental outlook, in spite of our ancient seafaring past. Our enthusiasm to fulfil our objectives remains undiminished.
We take a holistic, all-embracing view of the oceans around India and beyond, and we are concerned with all its numerous aspects – naval, merchant marine, shipping and ports, fisheries, history and heritage, marine environment and climate change, marine art, underwater technology, underwater domain awareness, and so on.
We organise lectures in schools and colleges, we run seminars at a professional level, we conduct ceremonies on Remembrance Days, and we carry out beach clean-ups on International Clean-up Day annually in partnership with the Ocean Conservancy, a marine environmental organisation based in Washington DC.
We publish a quarterly journal, Seagull, now in its ninetieth issue, which encompasses all maritime subjects in simple language to make it interesting and readable for non seafaring members. Our membership is open to all men and women, in India and overseas. We network with numerous maritime organisations around the world, which helps us to acquire a wide-ranging international oceanic perspective.
On this occasion of celebration, IMF sends good wishes and felicitations from India to all connected with the British Maritime Foundation. Our thoughts will be with you on 8 November 2017.
Commodore Rajan Vir IN, President of the Indian Maritime Foundation
For more information about the Indian Maritime Foundation, please visit www.indianmaritimefoundation.org