The formation of a chapter of The Company of Master Mariners of India (CMMI) last week in Kolkata comes as a major break-through. Though CMMI was formed in India in 1956, with its Head office at Mumbai, it was able to establish in 12 chapters at various cities in India such as Chandigarh, New Delhi, Dehradun, Patna, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Visakhapatnam, Chennai, Goa, Mangalore, Bangalore and Kochi. But all effots in establishing a chapter in Kolkata failed for the last sixty years of its existence despite various determined efforts made on several times.
According to their spokesman, the difficulty was because a local Kolkata Association of Master Mariners was in existence. Understandably, inspite of their best efforts to enjoin them with a PAN India professional body , they were reluctant to part with the local identity. CMMI was determined that a chapter was required to be established at Kolkata for the overall benefit of all Nautical Marine Officers at Kolkata. Capt.B.K.Jha , Dy Master and Capt.Philip Mathews, Master, CMMI tried best to convince the local Association to merge with CMMI. Unfortunately, the efforts did not succeed. CMMI then worked towards the formation of the Chapter.
"Capt.Mukund Kumar, General Manager, SCI and an elected Warden of the Court of CMMI was at that point transferred to Kolkata by SCI," stated the spokeperson. "Capt.Mukund Kumar along with a few others were able to muster over 30 Master Mariners as members in a period of around two months. It was a commendable achievement, as it exceeded The minimum criteria to establish a chapter being 15 members. Capt.Mukund Kumar then requested the Head Office to approve the meeting of the first managing committee of the Chapter which was elected. Accordingly the six elected member team included Capt.Mukund Kumar as its Chairman and Capt.Kaustubh Dutta as its Secretary.
Capt Mathews says, "CMMI is considering holding professional seminars and divert some of its activities to the Kolkata chapter. Kolkata chapter will be encouraged to go out strongly and serve the Maritime Fraternity in Kolkata. We would like to have all our brethren in the local Association at Kolkata to be our members soon. CMMI envisages huge potential in Kolkata to contribute to the growth of various sectors of the Maritime Fraternity."