In a bid to encourage and honour the tireless and unparalleled contribution of journalists, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday provided financial aid to the families of journalists who had lost their lives due to the coronavirus pandemic. The chief minister was also accompanied by India TV Editor-In-Chief Rajat Sharma. The families of scribes were offered a cheque of Rs 10 lakh each.
Addressing the event, India TV Editor-In-Chief Rajat Sharma paid his tributes to those who lost their lives due to the coronavirus pandemic and expressed sympathy with the families of the deceased.
“TV, print, digital journalists not only covered news during Covid lockdown, but they also worked as a bridge between the government and the common people suffering from the deadly diseases. I am proud to say that people from the media fraternity faced the challenge bravely without hesitation,” Rajat Sharma said.
Speaking further, Rajat Sharma remembered the lockdown phase and said people wanted to know what is happening.
“I remember the lockdown period when people were locked inside their homes and everyone was curious about the coronavirus infection. During such times, journalists stepped forward and covered the pandemic situation without worrying about their own lives,” Rajat Sharma said.
“There were also times when people stepped out of their homes but did not follow the COVID-19 protocols. During such times too, our reporters and camerapersons spoke to people and questioned them. Some even disrespected journalists upon questioning, however, they continued to do their job and even urged the people to wear masks and follow the coronavirus protocols,” India TV Editor-In-Chief Rajat Sharma said.
Remembering the times when hospitals were full and there were no beds available, Rajat Sharma said, “During times when people feared stepping even near the premises of a hospital, our journalists went inside several hospitals and reported the second wave of the pandemic.”
Speaking upon the vaccination policy for journalists, Rajat Sharma said he called up Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to press for the vaccination of journalists.
“As NBA president, I approached UP CM Yogi Adityanath for vaccination of journalists and their families, he assured me of all help and within a few days, a vaccination drive was organised in Noida. I thank Yogiji on behalf of all the media fraternity,” Rajat Sharma said.
“Yogi Adityanath nodded for free vaccination for journalists and their families, even before I could complete speaking to him,” Rajat Sharma said, as he expressed gratefulness to the Uttar Pradesh chief minister.
Concluding his address, India TV Editor-In-Chief Rajat Sharma said, “The coronavirus pandemic is yet not over and those who have yet not received their vaccination jab should go for it at the earliest.”
Yogi Adityanath had announced the financial aid for families of journalists on the occasion of ‘Hindi Journalism Day’.
The chief minister also said the government is committed to providing all support to journalists and will continue to encourage them.
Praising the efforts of journalists, he said, “During such challenging and testing times, all journalists and media workers have risked their lives to bring to us relevant and authentic information. They have worked 24×7 which is commendable.”
During the second wave of the pandemic, many journalists across the country got infected on duty and lost their lives, leaving their families helpless, the UP government said.
COVID-19 situation in Uttar Pradesh
Meanwhile, forty-two more people tested positive for COVID-19 in Uttar Pradesh, pushing the tally to 17,08,410 on Friday, while the death toll climbed to 22,756 with four more fatalities, a health bulletin said.
Two deaths were reported from Allahabad, and one each from Amethi and Ayodhya, it said.
In the last 24 hours, 42 fresh cases were reported in the state while 91 people were discharged after they recovered, it said.
The total recoveries have reached 16,84,925, it said, adding the number of active cases in Uttar Pradesh stands at 729.