By Nava Thakuria*
PEC lauds Indian authorities for Corona compensation to scribes
Guwahati: India remains at the top of the list of 76 Corona affected countries, with 229 journo-casualties, according to statistics provided by Press Emblem Campaign, the Switzerland based international media rights and safety body.
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.
India is 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.
While condoling the demise of over 1440 journalists around the world due to Covid-19 till date, PEC has urged 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. PEC general secretary Blaise Lempen said safety of media workers remains at risk in this crisis because they have to continue working on the ground.
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.
PEC, meanwhile, appreciated the initiative of Indian federal government along with many province authorities for sanctioning financial assistances to the families of Covid-19 victims among journalists. As India continues to be a worst affected country with the highest number of scribes died of novel corona virus infection aggravated aliments, PEC (https://pressemblem.ch/) also recommends for 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 grieves over the demise of scribes in the pandemic, the federal information & broadcasting ministry approved the financial assistances to the affected families. Many State governments also declared compensations to deceased journo-families because to Covid-19, where the Uttar Pradesh offers the highest ( ₹10 lakh each).
*Senior journalist and country representative of PEC in India