The Guwahati Press Club has raised concern over the non-inclusion of the names of the journalists, who lost their lives due to Covid19, in the PIB list of beneficiaries of the Journalist Welfare Scheme.
Guwahati Press Club general secretary Sanjoy Ray and president Manoj Kr Nath wrote a letter to Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Anurag Singh Thakur to look into the matter.
In the letter to Thakur, Guwahati Press Club wrote: “Our attention has been drawn towards the written statement given in the floor of the Lok Sabha on December 7, 2021 wherein it was stated that a sum of Rs 6.5 crore has been approved under the Journalist Welfare Scheme for the year 2021-22.”
It said “based on the applications received by the Press Information Bureau (PIB) from across the country, families of 123 journalists who lost their lives due to COVID 19 were provided a financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh each, which is a commendable step”.
“However, to our utter surprise and disbelief, the list of beneficiaries does not feature journalists from Assam, for reasons best known to the PIB, which is believed to have prepared the list,” the letter said.
This is something the media fraternity in Assam is finding hard to comprehend, the Guwahati-based media organisation said.
The media organisation said “journalists from Assam too had lost their lives during the pandemic”.
Requesting the Union minister to “look into the matter”, the Guwahati Press Club urged him to ensure that “no journalist from Assam or for that matter anywhere in the country is kept out of the ambit of the scheme”.