The Telangana State Union of Working Journalists (TUWJ) demanded that the State government take steps to enhance the compensation paid to journalists who die in harness.
The TUWJ said the present compensation of Rs. 1 lakh at the time of death and Rs. 3,000 a month for three years to the families of the deceased was insufficient to meet their requirements. The compensation should therefore be enhanced to Rs. 5 lakh in addition to Rs. 5,000 a month for a period of five years. The TUWJ said more than 200 journalists died in the past four years with a majority of them dying due to heart strokes indicating work stress and each of these journalists had four to six dependants, TUWJ advisor K. Srinivas Reddy said.
Mr. Reddy, accompanied by IJU secretary general Devulapalli Amar, TUWJ president N. Shekar and general secretary Virahat Ali, briefed reporters about the decisions taken at the union’s executive committee meeting held on July 15. The TUWJ urged the government to take steps to evolve a pension scheme for retired journalists on the lines of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Tripura, while streamlining the implementation of health insurance scheme for journalists.
The government had issued health cards to 9,000 journalists out of nearly 18,000 to whom accreditation cards were issued. But several hospitals were denying admission and treatment on the ground that the government owed dues to them. They lamented that four years after the formation of the new State, several of the assurances given to journalists, including provision of houses and house sites, were pending implementation.
Dharna at Jantar Mantar
Even the recommendations made by Majithia wage board were not implemented. The TUWJ had decided to stage a dharna at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi in August when the monsoon session of the Parliament would be on, to highlight the problems faced by working journalists. The date of the dharna has not been finalised yet.
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