New Delhi: India celebrates National Maritime Day every year on April 5. The country will celebrate the 58th edition of National Maritime Day this year, the first of which was celebrated in 1964 to spread awareness about intercontinental commerce and the economy.
According to reports maritime history begins millennia ago — in the 3rd millennium BC, the people of the Indus Valley had started their maritime trade with Mesopotamia. And when Egypt was annexed by the Roman Empire, the trade started with the Romans too.
On this day in 1919, meaning over a century ago, the Indian shipping started when SS Loyalty, the first ship of The Scindia Steam Navigation Company Ltd, sailed to London (UK) from Mumbai. The date is truly historic because the sea routes were still under British control at the time. According to the Directorate General of Shipping, India now has 43 shipping companies owning 1,401 ships with a combined 12.69 million gross tonnage as of December 2018.
Besides the historical significance, the day is also celebrated to extend support to the global economy, the most well-organized, safe and sound environmentally responsive approach of transporting goods from one corner to another in this world.
In 1959, India also became a member of the International Maritime Organisation, which is responsible for maritime protection and preventing pollution from ships.
The day is celebrated keeping a few objectives in mind:
- Celebrating the glory of the iconic success of 1919’s shipping achievement.
- Making the current generation aware of India’s Maritime History.
- Putting on display India’s Naval resources.
- Paying respect to all the naval officers and sailors.
- Encouraging and moulding the young minds to be a part of the Maritime.