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Journalist Welfare Fund would instill sense of security among media fraternity: Balbir

BJP vouching for Press Colonies in twin capital cities

Provision of rupees two crores as Journalist Welfare Fund in the current budget is one more step, first by any government in the state, which will go a long way in offering succor to media persons in the hour of need. Lauding the move taken by PDP-BJP alliance government, BJP State Spokesperson Balbir Ram Rattan said that it will meet a long felt need and prove to be immensely beneficial to the media fraternity of Jammu and Kashmir. He said that the BJP MLA & State President Sat Sharma had raised the issue and demanded to provide Rs. 5 crore for the said fund but it was lessened to Rs. 2 crores and expressed hope the same will be hiked in the future. Balbir said that it goes without saying media is the fourth pillar of democracy and the persons/journalists associated with this noble profession too need some financial security for themselves as also for their families. Undeniably, they work under challenging and difficult situations and if any untoward happens to them in their line of duty, this help from the earmarked fund shall be of huge help to them. The BJP leader said that there have been instances of physical assault on the media persons while working as watch dogs of the rights and welfare of the society and serving in unfavourable and risky situations round the clock. J&K being a conflict zone, many a times, the media persons have suffered fatalities while covering the news events, involving operations against armed terrorists. Media persons have also been targeted for fair reporting and have paid the ultimate price while pursuing their noble calling, especially in the valley. It has been seen that under such circumstances their families have been left high and dry to fend for themselves. The need for a welfare fund for the media persons has been long felt, was overdue and would instil a sense of security in them, he added. Balbir Ram Rattan said that the PDP-BJP coalition government has displayed its concern for the media fraternity by making a provision of rupees two crores as Journalist Welfare Fund and it is hoped in future too this important pillar of democracy will be further strengthened and taken care by the government.Balbir said that the BJP has always stood for the welfare and security of hundreds of people working in different newspapers and electronic media, as healthy and vibrant media is essential for democracy. “Our MLAs had even submitted questions in the Assembly in the past related to setting up of Press Colonies in Jammu and Srinagar”, Balbir said and expressed hope that the present coalition government will soon announce setting up of these colonies, another milestone for the media fraternity.