Mumbai

Include journalists in frontline workers category, says Fadnavis

Journalists fill in their details for a swab test in Mumbai. File Photo   | Photo Credit: AP

Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and the BJP’s Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Devendra Fadnavis, on Wednesday demanded that journalists, photographers and camerapersons be accorded as “frontline workers” in the fight against COVID-19 and they be vaccinated on a priority basis.

In a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Mr. Fadnavis said at least 12 States had included journalists and camerapersons in the frontline workers category and had got them vaccinated.

“A number of States, including Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab and West Bengal among others, have recognised media persons as ‘frontline workers’ for their respective COVID-19 vaccination drives. Unfortunately, the decision is still pending in Maharashtra,” Mr. Fadnavis said, adding that several journalists and mediapersons had succumbed to the virus in the first and second wave of the pandemic.

He said the demands of the vocation compelled journalists to visit hospitals, crematoriums and other high-risk locations in order to highlight the problems faced by the public during the pandemic, besides sensitising the public to adhere to COVID-19 norms.

“Many journalists cannot work from home. Hence, there should be no further delay in including them into the category of frontline workers so that they can get vaccinated on a priority basis,” Mr. Fadnavis said.

He said a number of organisations representing mediapersons had presented similar demands, but the State government was yet to take a decision on it.

“Many journalists have lost their lives while working in the pandemic period. Many have lodged their protests [to be recognised as frontline workers] through an online agitation recently,” Mr. Fadnavis added.

Previously, voices within Mr. Thackeray’s tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, too, have demanded the inclusion of journalists into the category of frontline warriors, with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Ministers Nawab Malik and Dilip Walse-Patil and Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat gunning for the same.


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Printable version | Jun 20, 2021 4:28:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/include-journalists-in-frontline-workers-category-fadnavis/article34546220.ece

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