Pragjyotish Barta,Guwahati, 24 Septemberঃঃ Journalists, who are playing the role of corona-warriors along with practicing doctors, nurses, sanitation workers, police personnel etc, continue to die of novel corona virus aggravated ailments across India. Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) expresses its profound grief over their untimely deaths and urges media corona-warrior to be careful while reporting Covid-19 pandemic from the ground.
Lately the country lost seven journalists to Covid-19 complications within twelve days and it goes on. The latest victim surfaces Indore (Madhya Pradesh), where senior journalist Manoj Binwal died of the virus infection in the hospital. Binwal (55), who worked for Hindi newspaper Prajatantra, was hospitalized after testing positive for Covid-19 and breather his last on 20 September 2020.
A day back, Agra based journalist Ami Adhar Nidar (50) died of the virus infection at Medanta hospital, Gurugram. Associated with widely circulated Hindi newspaper DainikJagaran, the popular journalist was hospitalized after he tested positive for Covid-19. He left behind his wife, one son and one daughter with other relatives.
Earlier, Anil Srivastava (68) from Basti in Jammu locality succumbed to Covid-19 complications on 18 September. Worked for the United News of India for many years, Srivastava died at Basti medical college hospital. Survived by his wife, two sons and other relatives, the journalist also edited local newspapers namely VicharParakh and PrakashTimes. Same day, Madhya Pradesh lost one of its senior journalists to Covid-19. Harish Choubey (60), who worked for popular Hindi newspaper DainikBhaskar from Jabalpur, was hospitalized after testing positive for the virus infection.
Chennai based Tamil journalist-actor Florent C Pereira (67) died on 14 September in the hospital. Used to work for Kalaignar TV, Win TV and Vijay TV, Pereira was hospitalized after he tested positive for Covid-19. Abohar (Punjab) based journalist Naresh Bajaj (57) succumbed to Covid-19 complications on 10 September. Bajaj worked for SachKahoon newspaper and he was very active as a frontline corona activist.
Ravinder Kumar (30) from Una locality in Himachal Pradesh died of Covid-19 on 9 September. Working for DainikJagran, Kumar was not feeling well for some time. He was sent to the hospital after developing symptoms of Covid-19 and he died on the way. His cremation was conducted following Covid-19 protocols. Kumar left behind his parents, wife, one brother along with a host of relatives.
Assam also witnessed two journo-victims recently as Udalguri based correspondent Dhaneswar Rabha (35) died of Covid-19 at Guwahati medical college hospital on 6 September. Rabha is the first scribe in northeast India to succumb to Covid-19 complications. He was suffering from renal problems and went for regular dialysis. Rabha left behind his parents, wife, two kids, a host of relatives.
Next day, senior journalist Ashim Dutta passed away at Silchar medical college hospital. Dutta (65), who worked for a Bengali daily in Barak valley, was also suffering from kidney problems. He was admitted to the hospital after testing positive for the novel corona virus infection. A pass-out from Gauhati University, Dutta left behind his wife, only daughter and other relatives.
Weeks back, Mumbai based senior film-journalist Shyam Sarma, Nellore (Andhra Pradesh) based scribe Narayanam Seshacharyulu, Pune based television reporter Pandurang Raikar, Kanpur based television journalist Neelanshu Shukla, Patiala based photojournalist Jai Deep, Tirupati based television reporter Madhusudan Reddy & video journalist M Parthasarathy succumbed to the infections.
The list also includes television reporter Ramanathan & news videographer E Velmurugan from Chennai, news presenter Davinder Pal Singh from Chandigarh, television scribe Manoj Kumar from Hyderabad, print-journalist Pankaj Kulashrestha from Agra, Orissa’s journalists Simanchal Panda, K Ch Ratnam & Priyadarshi Patnaik, etc.
Kolkata based photojournalist Ronny Roy became the first Indian scribe to lose his battle against the dreaded virus. New Delhi scribe Tarun Sisodia killed himself undergoing Covid-19 treatment at AIIMS. Maharashtra’s veteran journalist Ashok Churi, who edited Marathi weekly PalgharTimes, died at a Palghar based hospital, who later tested positive for Covid-19. The printer-publisher of AsomiyaKhabar (Rantu Das) also died at a Guwahati hospital and later tested positive for the virus infection.
Expressing concern over hundreds of city-based media persons lately tested positive for Covid-19, JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria repeated the appeal to media group managements to come clean on their employees’ health status as part of social responsibility. The forum added that news channels and newspapers continue identifying other Covid-19 patients, but they collectively remain silent when their employees turn positive (except a few infected scribes made personal revelations in social media).