Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Jharkhand loses two veteran journalists, big jolt to news industry

No medical insurance or protection for journalists as govt remains oblivious of their existence

Ranchi: Media industry and journalism in Jharkhand suffered a big jolt on Thursday as two senior journalists lost their lives. While, the Bureau Chief of PTI P V Ramanujam allegedly committed suicide by hanging, a senior journalist of Dainik Jagran Sanjeev Sinha died of Corona.

The two deaths on the same day has jolted the entire media industry in the state.

On Thursday, senior journalist and PTI Bureau Chief P V Ramanujam was found dead. He was found hanging from a ceiling fan in his office.

His office was close to Raj Bhawan. His wife found him hanging on Thursday morning. Her wife said that he was under stress for the last few days for professional reasons.

On the other hand, senior journalist of Dainik Jagran in Ranchi has died Thursday of Corona. He was admitted in RIMS for treatment. No information was given to his family about his being Covid positive. He succumbed to complications. He used to work in Asansol. However, he hailed from Dhanbad.

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Journalists in Jharkhand are one of the most vulnerable groups. They are not only paid meagrely for their efforts and hard work, they also have no facilities like medical insurance or group insurance, which are normally mandatory facilities to employees in other industries.

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All over the country the journalists are treated as Corona warriors. But in Jharkhand, neither the government, nor their employers have paid any attention to their safety and welfare.

Several media groups have either closed operations in the state or are retrenching employees indiscriminately in the name of profitability. Yet the government has not done anything to stop this trend.

The irony is that if a doctor, nurse, sanitation work get infected with corona in the line of duty, they would have the protection of an elaborate health insurance. However, for the journalists in Jharkhand there is no such provision and they would have to fend for themselves.

While the government is oblivious of the existence of journalists, even social organisations feel that journalists are all powerful and do not need any protection or advocacy.

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