Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Tuesday emphasised the important contribution of seafarers during the tough times of COVID-19 in making the country self-reliant and keeping global supply chain operational.
The Ports, Shipping and Waterways minister further said during the height of the pandemic, more than 2,10,000 Indian seafarers served on Indian and foreign ships in 2021.
This also ensured that Indian and global trade and commerce activities continued unhindered, he said.
''With our Indian seafarers working throughout the world in pandemic times, we set an example for the world of our rich ancient Indian ethos and philosophy of Vasudaiva Kutumbakam or the entire world is one family,'' a Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways statement quoted him as saying.
The minister also exuded confidence that India would lead the world through the maritime sector in the years to come.
He said the Indian cruise industry is growing rapidly due to multiple government interventions in the last 3 years. Over the next decade, the Indian cruise market has the potential to increase by 8 times driven by rising demand and disposable incomes, he added.
The minister also congratulated all stakeholders of maritime fraternity at the 59th National Maritime Day.
(With inputs from PTI)