As the deadline from the pirates expires and with no hope for the families, CNN-IBN brings the nation together in this fight to bring back our Sailors.
March 17, 2011
CNN-IBN recently launched a campaign ‘Save our Sailors’ aimed at encouraging millions of Indians to heap pressure on the government to crack down piracy and bring back our seafarers. It has nearly been a year since the six Indian sailors onboard the ship MV Iceberg were taken hostage by Somali pirates. It seems to be a never ending excruciating ordeal for the six seafarers and also their families who have run from pillar to post trying to set their loved ones freed, but have not received any help form the Government. CNN-IBN came forward and provided a nationwide platform for the families to raise their voice on behalf of these deserted Indians to the government.
CNN-IBN managed to make the first contact with the pirates and spoke with the held hostages at sea. CNN-IBN’s Shoaib Ahmed managed to speak to Dhiraj Tiwari, the Chief Officer of the ship, who recounted the daily ordeal that he and his men go through. Dhiraj Tiwari confessed that food and water are rare and there is a constant fear of death. CNN-IBN also enabled the families speak to their loved ones. Their only question being: When will the Indian Government help rescue them? With the families losing hope as the deadline set by the pirates expire; CNN-IBN got these families from different parts of the country come together to make a joint plea to the government.
The families, who were earlier given a deaf ear by the government, have been provided a chance to meet the Prime Minister after the CNN-IBN initiative. CNN-IBN through its initiative garnered public opinion and raised a voice against the system and Ms. Lakshmi Venkatachalam, Director General- Shipping came forward and spoke to CNN-IBN giving assurance that steps are been taken to rescue the sailors. The government also said it is making all efforts to seek the early release of Indians held hostage by Somali pirates.
Speaking on the initiative, Rajdeep Sardesai, Editor-In-Chief – CNN-IBN, IBN7 & IBN-Lokmat, said, “We have always stood up for the common man and have enabled him raise his voice against injustice. This is our sincere endeavor to highlight the plight of the innocent sailors who have fallen prey to the ruthless pirates and the plight of their families who are suffering because of excessive bureaucratic red tapism.”
CNN-IBN is committed to take this initiative to a logical conclusion whatever it takes, by providing the aggrieved a platform to be heard and to by pushing the government agencies to take action in this regard.