by Thakuria Navajyoti
Press Emblem Campaign, the Switzerland-based international media rights and safety body, appreciates the initiative of Indian federal government along with many provincial authorities for sanctioning financial assistance to the families of Covid-19 victims among journalists. As India continues to be the worst affected country with the highest number of scribes who have died of novel coronavirus infection aggravated aliments, PEC (https://pressemblem.ch/) also recommends early vaccination to journalists along with other media workers.
Mentionable is that the Union government in New Delhi recently announced that ₹ 5 hundred thousand (72 Indian rupees= 1 USD) each would be offered to 67 families of journalists, who died because of
Covid-19 since March 2020. Expressing grief over the demise of scribes in the pandemic, the federal information & broadcasting ministry approved the financial assistance to the affected families.
Many State governments also declared compensations to deceased journo-families because of Covid-19, where Uttar Pradesh offers the highest ( ₹10 lakh each). PEC, while condoling the demise of over 1440 journalists around the world due to Covid-19 till date, urges all the governments to vaccinate the journalists on a priority basis and offer aid to the victim families so that they can play their roles as frontline corona warriors after the doctors, nurses, other health and sanitation workers, said PEC general secretary Blaise Lempen, adding that the safety of media workers remain at risk in this crisis because they have to continue working on the ground.
According to PEC statistics, India remains at the top of the list of 76 corona affected countries, with 229 journo-casualties, followed by Brazil (222 dead), Peru (161), Mexico (111), Colombia (64), Italy
(56), Bangladesh (53), Ecuador (50), USA (49), Iran (32), United Kingdom (30), Argentina (28), Dominican Republic, Pakistan, Turkey (27 each), Russia (21), Venezuela (19), Bolivia (18), Panama (16), Spain, Ukraine (15 each), Egypt, Nepal (14 each), Honduras (11), Afghanistan, Nigeria, South Africa, France (9 each), etc.
“In May, at least 90 journalists succumbed to the virus infection in India, that is 3 per day. For the whole world, more than 180 journalists passed away due to Covid-19 in the month of May, that is 6 per day, a record number,” said Nava Thakuria, the country representative of PEC, adding that India lately lost journalists Sagolsem Hemant, Basant Das, Sushil Sharma, R Jawahar, Junagari Ramesh, Prabudha Jagadev, Suresh Kumar Chaturvedi, HS Doreswamy, Vidyut P Mourya, Pradeep Kumar, Roshan Dias, Rajkumar Keswani, Choppadandi Mohan, Prakash Biyani, L Ramesh, Shivani Dua, etc.