Ex-Gratia Amount Announced For Journalists’ Demise

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has announced that an ex-gratia amount of ₹15 lakh will be granted by the state to the kin of any working journalist who may die due to COVID-19. A statement by the Chief Minister’s Office noted that the journalists have been playing a key role in sensitizing people and spreading awareness about effective prevention techniques, to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“Covid-19 disease has created a very dangerous situation across the world. Like health workers, our journalist friends are working on the field during this time. I hope journalists will get benefitted by this announcement of CM,” said Manas Mangaraj, media advisor to state government.

Earlier Pratap Chandra Sarangi, Member of Parliament from Odisha’s Balasore and National Executive Member of the BJP, had authored a letter to Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar, requesting him to devise a scheme for the benefit of journalists who were risking their lives to spread awareness amongst the masses.

Under Naveen Patnaik, Odisha was the only state to pioneer an exclusive COVID-19 unemployment scheme, in the form of Urban Wage Employment Initiative (UWEI), for which a fund of ₹100 crores was sanctioned. The present scheme to cover exposed journalists on the front lines also follows the same line and is an ode to humanity in the toughest times of the crisis.

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