Madras Reporters Guild condoles the death of cameraperson
Chennai, June 29: Madras Reporters Guild (Chennai Nirubargal Sangam) condoled the death of camera person Raj TV Velumurugan due to coronavirus.
In a press release issued on Sunday (28 June), said it praised the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for sanctioning Rs 5 lakh to the family of the deceased.
While that is praiseworthy, Guild also urges Tamil Nadu Government to launch a scheme of Life Insurance cover and include all the frontline personnel in the face of the coronavirus attack, create a State Register of Frontline Personnel (SROFT) to ensure regular monitoring of this personnel, prevent them from catching the virus, and to monitor their health status, and grant Rs one crore relief to the families in the case of death of such frontline persons.
The SROFT Register should include media personnel, doctors, nurses, paramedical staff and employees of hospitals and dispensaries handling COVID 19 patients, police personnel in frontline work, government staff in frontline operations, and conservancy staff of corporations, municipalities, and panchayats.
Since it may be difficult to extend this benefit through the new scheme to the family of Thiru Velmurugan, the Reporters Guild urges the Hon’Chief Minister to sanction Rs one crore as relief to the family, from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.
The Guild reminded that insurance companies in recent times including LIC have launched schemes to provide benefits of Rs one crore to families of the deceased.
The annual premium for such a scheme would only be Rs 5,500 to 6,000 which should be paid by the Government. Such a scheme of life cover should be provided to frontline staff as outlined above.
30,000 to 50,000 such staff could be included in this Register as beneficiaries. In case the government feels the burden would be too high year after year, the government can provide the premium for the first year alone.
This would suffice as the coronavirus may have an impact for only a year, at the most. If thereafter, the beneficiaries wished to continue the scheme from the second year onwards, they would have to pay the annual premium themselves or the government can bear 50 percent of the burden, 50 percent to be borne by the beneficiary.
The scheme can even be modified to cover all deaths, not necessarily through coronavirus. The Guild also demands to provide comprehensive medical insurance for all media persons without any income restriction, the premium to be borne by the State Government.
Chief Minister has praised the services of the media personnel in the face of corona attack and they are working in the frontline and are making efforts to provide important information.
While it is delightful to shower praises, Chief Minister has not included media persons working as essential services in the frontline, in the list of frontline staff, whose families are eligible for Rs 50 lakh benefit in the event of the death of such staff as per a scheme of the Centre and the State.
The Guild urges the Hon’ble Chief Minister to immediately rectify the situation and to issue necessary orders to include media persons in the list of frontline staff eligible for the Rs 50 lakh cover.
About 200 media personnel have been already affected by the virus so far. Guild urges the Tamil Nadu Government to immediately introduce the two schemes — for Life Insurance Cover for Rs 1 crore, by implementing the SROFT Register for all frontline staff including media persons, and Comprehensive Medical Insurance scheme for both domiciliary and hospitalization treatment without income restriction.
The Guild hoped that the Chief Minister would order these two schemes on his own and that there would be no need for media persons to agitate to secure these demands.