Govt committed to protect high ideals and glorious journalism of Chhattisgarh: Baghel

Raipur, Sep 03: On Friday, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said that the Chhattisgarh government stands with the media persons in every event of joy or pains. The state government is taking steps to reduce their professional challenges and difficulties. The state government is committed to preserve the glorious journalism of Chhattisgarh and its high ideals, said Baghel while addressing the bereaved family members of the journalists those who died of Covid 19. He distributed cheques of monetary aid provided to the family members of the deceased journalists under the ‘Journalists’ Welfare Fund’ during a programme organised at CM’s residence office.
A total amount of Rs 1.15 crore has been released from the Journalists’ Welfare Fund in cases of 53 media personnel. Out of these, a total monetary assistance of Rs 90 lakh has been sanctioned to the families of 18 media personnel who have died due to Covid-19. Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel handed over the cheques to the families of 11 media personnel out of 18 media personnel who died of COVID-19. Cheques of approved aid amount are being sent to the families of other media personnel. At the outset, the gathering observed two minutes silence for paying homage to the departed media personnel.
Chief Minister said that Journalists Weflare Fund has been established to reduce the financial worries of the journalists and enable them to fulfil their obligations of fair journalism. Earlier, there was a provision of up to Rs 50,000 for journalists and their families for medical treatment. The state government amended the rules and increased this amount to Rs 2 lakh. In case of accidental death, a provision has been made to provide financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh from the Journalists Welfare Fund.
Chief Minister further said that the media persons delivered their duties with dedication and commitment even during the Corona Pandemic. The journalists accomplished historic task during Corona-era and set an example for the coming generations. Despite the dangers of infection, the media persons worked continuously in the field. Many of them and their families got infected. The government made all necessary arrangements to ensure the best medical treatment for these media personnel and their families. Despite sustained efforts, many of the media persons could not be saved. Paying tribute to the departed media persons, the Chief Minister expressed his heartfelt condolences to their families.
Recollecting the challenges of second wave, Baghel said that the task of identifying infected people and providing medical treatment was challenging for the government. At that time, the media accomplished the great task of broadcasting accurate information and maintaining a positive environment by making the people aware of rumours.
Chief Minister said that the Varishth Media Karmi Samman Nidhi scheme is being operated for the senior media persons of the state. Under this scheme, earlier there was a provision of providing Rs 5000 per month as Samman Nidhi. The present government has increased it to Rs 10000 per month. Introducing amendments in the scheme, the qualifying age has been reduced from 62 years to 60 years. The media persons eligible for this scheme will be able to avail benefits for life. Now, a provision has also been made for providing block level accreditation to journalists who are working at the ground level in rural areas.
Baghel added that as per its promise, the State Government is also continuously moving forward in the direction of enactment of Journalist Protection Act. Soon this law will be ready and presented in the assembly. He appreciated the journalists of Chhattisgarh for their excellent services during the Corona period.
Public Relations Commissioner Dr S Bharathidasan said that most of the media personnel or their families who are being given assistance have been in trouble during the Corona period. Under the Journalists Welfare Fund, there is a provision to provide financial assistance to media workers and their families in distress by the Public Relations Department. He said that Public Relations Department is promptly discharging its responsibilities that have been entrusted by the State Government for the welfare of journalists and protection of journalism. Those who received the cheques of monetary aid are Lakshmi Sinha, wife of late Naresh Sinha (Correspondent, Navbharat Bhilai-Durg), Yogita Ingle, wife of Late Avinash Ingle (Correspondent, Navabharat, Bhilai), Rajani Dudani, wife of Late Bharat Dudani (Ispat Times, Raipur); Shubhangi Meshram, wife of Late Srikant Meshram (Photographer, Central Chronicle Raipur); Mehzabeen Banu, wife of Late Ziyal-ul-Hasan (Sub-Editor, Dainik Agradoot); Jhuma Das, wife of Late Raja Das (Sub Editor, Hitvada, Raipur); Ganga Sagar Agade, wife of Late Ashwin Agade (Bureau Chief, Dainik Navpradesh, Raipur); Gayatri Devi, wife of Late Deepak Verma (Sub Editor, Haribhumi, Raipur); Rishabh Dewangan, son of Late Tilak Dewangan (Dainik Chhattisgarh, Raipur); Nasera Abid Ali, wife of Late Abid Ali (Urdu Daily, Khabar Express, Raipur); Sania Khan, wife of Late Shakir Khan (Highway Channel, Raipur).
Raipur Press Club President Damu Ambedare, Treasurer Shagufta Shirin and Working Committee Member Manoj Nayak and New Press Club of Bhilai Nagar President Bhavana Pandey were also present. The program was conducted by Sanjeev Tiwari, Joint Director, Public Relations Department. Additional Director, Public Relations, Umesh Mishra proposed the vote of thanks. Additional Director, Public Relations, JL Dario was also present.

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