GMS Green: Environmentally Sound Recycling in Alang Powers On
Summers are generally more relaxed, with August being a real vacation focused time for most of us. However, it was quite an interesting time for our Green Team, who were busy participating at the IndustriALL Global Union and FNV Workshop on the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe & Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (HKC), titled: “Towards safer and sustainable shipbreaking industry” that was organized at the Nilambag Palace hotel in Bhavnagar, Gujarat. The first session of the workshop was dedicated to a discussion around the “Global Trends in Ship breaking”. Vivek J M, Co-ordinator of the Responsible Ship Recycling Programme at GMS, made a presentation that was focused on the evolution of HKC, its present status and the potential future amendments to the Hong Kong Convention. His presentation also highlighted the variety of benefits for different stakeholders, especially the workers.
He then went on to describe the green activities undertaken by GMS for the safe and environmentally sound recycling of ships in Alang, while receiving praise for the GMS’s RSRP programme. The wide audience attending the workshop included Ship recycling yard owners, the Ship Recycling Industries Association (SRIA) from Alang, IndustriALL Global Union members, representatives from the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB), the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) of Alang and various other labour representatives. There was an effective interaction among the audience, especially over the need to have a social dialogue on the HKC. Furthermore, we had the opportunity to organize and conduct a “First Aid Training Programme” (the first of its kind), at two recycling facilities in Alang, India.
The programme was conducted at Leela Ship Recycling Pvt. Ltd. (Plot no. 2) and the Mahavir Inductomelt Pvt. Ltd. (Plot no. V5) as part of GMS’s continuous CSR program for Responsible Ship Recycling (GMS RSRP). The topics that were covered during the First Aid Programme by Dr. Anand Hiremath (Lead Coordinator of the GMS RSRP and Head of our R&D department) in Alang were about the importance of First Aid in the workplace, artificial respiration, how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), protection from foreign particles in nose and eyes, the use of a stretcher and safe transportation of an injured worker, wrapping bandages and dealing with snake or dog bites. The particular training was attended by almost 35 workers at both recycling yards and a greater number of workers is expected to attend future training programmes scheduled for next month.