Bhubaneswar: A state-level programme was held at the local Jaydev Bhavan on Wednesday to mark the golden jubilee of the Odisha Journalists ‘Union (OUJ), the state’s oldest journalists’ organization. Journalists from 30 districts attended the conference to discuss various issues related to the media. Speaking as the chief guest at the conference, Mr Mangraj said the state government was paying close attention to the implementation of the journalists’ welfare scheme.
Social security measures will be taken to speed up the implementation of journalists in the state. In this regard, the amount of health insurance is being increased from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh and the process has been started to implement pension and other welfare schemes, said Manas Mangraj, media adviser to the Odisha state government.
The process of taking action on the claims raised by the OUJ has begun. Soon after, the amount of the insurance amount will be increased to Rs 5 lakh and the demand for the implementation of pensions and other welfare schemes will be visited by various states to study the plans being implemented there and submit three reports to the state government. “Once the report is received, the government will take immediate action,” he said.
“Similarly, a policy on digital media will be formulated soon,” he said. Informing about the arrest of journalists in Malkangiri district, he said that the state government was going to order an inquiry into the matter. Action will be taken upon receipt of the report.
Congress MLA Suresh Kumar Rautaray and Bhubaneswar MLA Anant Narayan Jena were also present as distinguished guests and emphasized on solving various problems of journalists. The keynote speaker, senior journalist Ravi Das, said the state needed to create a conducive environment for journalism, and urged the government to raise money from advertising and various sources in the form of government construction workers’ funds to meet the various demands of journalists.
Presiding over the function, OUJ President, Press Council member Prasanna Mohanty, demanded an immediate increase in insurance premiums, the introduction of a pension scheme and the formation of an Accreditation Committee, and a change in the law, with a strong condemnation of the Malkangiri incident. Ashok Nand, General Secretary, briefed on the organizational activities of OUJ. Senior journalist Akshay Sahu introduced the guests. Vice President Kishan Raout drew the attention of the guests to OUJ’s demands, while Upan Sahu, one of the Vice-Presidents, thanked them.
Election officials Shishir Das and Pramod Samantaraiah announced the agenda for the OUJ’s upcoming bi-annual elections. Ten talented journalists from across the state were honored at the event for their outstanding work in the field of journalism.