By Our Correspondent
Guwahati, April 17: On the eve of Assam’s vibrant Rongali (Bohag) Bihu, the state government in Dispur ceremonially distributed journalist accreditation and recognition cards to a new set of media persons on April 13, 2018 in the city.
Gracing the occasion, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal presented the government cards to 153 journalists to facilitate their information gathering endeavours and professional activities.
Speaking at the function organised by the State Information and Public Relations (IPR) Department, Sonowal termed the journalists as ‘the conscience of our society’. Sonowal, who is also in charge of the state IPR portfolio, commented that the media continues to function as a bridge between the government and the people in the country.
The CM maintained that three crore and 40 lakh residents of Assam expect transparency and value-based governance from the present regime at Dispur, where the journalists can also play a vital role in fulfilling the aspirations of the common people.
Describing constructive criticism as the beauty of democracy, Sonowal appealed to the journalists to point out any lapses inadvertently committed by the government to set it right. He acknowledged the role played by the media in forging and strengthening the unity among people of all ethnicities, languages, caste, creed and religion in all 33 districts of Assam.
Speaking on the occasion, CM’s media advisor Hrisikesh Goswami illustrated the media as the sentinel of the society and commented that even though with different modus operandi both the media and the government have to work with a common objective for the nation, society and the people.
Giving an overview of various welfare schemes to media persons by the government, Goswami elaborated that the authority has formulated policies thinking resolutely not only for those who are engaged in reporting but also for the other professionals who are associated with the profession of journalism.
Delivering the welcome address, state IPR director Rajiv Prakash Baruah gave an overview of various welfare schemes for the media fraternity by the government. He detailed about newly launched journalists’ pension scheme, journalists’ family benefit scheme, conducted tour program for rural reporters, one time financial support to over 30 victim journalist families with the proposed media fellowship program and life insurance coverage for working journalists of the state.
Senior television journalist Pranay Bordoloi, while addressing the gathering in presence of CM’s legal advisor Shantanu Bharali, secretary to state IPR department SJ Hazarika with a host of professional journalists and dignitaries, urged the government to enhance the insurance scheme covering both life and health for the benefit of media persons.
Another senior scribe Nava Thakuria, while appreciating the initiative, commented that the new government has successfully broken the tradition of granting accreditation and recognition cards only to the reporters, making the space for those working in the news-desks and behind the news-cameras (both still and movie) even. Thakuria also emphasized on beneficiary schemes for non-journalist media employees engaged in print, electronic and alternate media outlets.