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 and Chairman Rajat Sharma. The families of scribes were offered a cheque of Rs 10 lakh each. Addressing the event, 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," Sharma said.
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," he 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," Sharma said.
Remembering the times when hospitals were full and there were no beds available, 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, 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," Sharma said.
"Yogi Adityanath nodded for free vaccination for journalists and their families, even before I could complete speaking to him," Sharma said, as he expressed gratefulness to the Uttar Pradesh chief minister.
Concluding his address, 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."
Speaking on the occasion, CM Yogi said, "It was on the initiative of Rajat Sharma Ji that vaccination drives for journalists were organized in Noida and Lucknow."
"Over 25 thousand journalists were vaccinated during the drive," the chief minister said.
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.