Guwahati: Casualties among the media fraternity because of Covid-19 complications across India start kicking as now almost every alternate day the country is losing a media person to the novel corona virus infections. The last three media corona casualties even reported within four days, said Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) urging every scribe to be cautious while reporting from the ground.
Latest report surfaced from Nellore locality of Andhra Pradesh, where journalist Narayanam Seshacharyulu (56) died of Covid-19 on 3 September 2020. Associated with prestigious Telugu daily Eenadu, Seshacharyulu was hospitalized in Tirupati few days back after testing positive for the virus infection. He worked in different localities like Chittoor, Muttukuru, Guntur, Hyderabad and lately West Godavari. Seshacharyulu left behind his wife and a son with other relatives.
A day back, Pune (Maharashtra) based television reporter Pandurang Raikar (42) succumbed to Covid-complications in a Ahmednagar town hospital. Raikar, who worked for TV9 news channel, tested positive in the antigen test and he was hospitalized. However, his family members alleged of delayed treatment by the hospital authority. Raikar left behind his wife, two kids and a host of relatives.
Earlier, another television journalist Neelanshu Shukla (30) from Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh) died of corona infections. Shukla, who was associated with AajTak, tested positive for Covid-19 few days back and died on 31 August in the hospital. A bachelor Shukla also worked for NDTV and Republic TV as a Lucknow correspondent.
Weeks back, 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, who tested positive for the virus infection. New Delhi based scribe Tarun Sisodia killed himself undergoing treatment at AIIMS.
Patiala (Punjab) based photojournalist Jai Deep, Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh) based television reporter Madhusudan Reddy & video journalist M Parthasarathy, Chennai (Tamil Nadu) based television reporter Ramanathan and Orissa’s journalists namely Simanchal Panda, K Ch Ratnam & Priyadarshi Patnaik, Chennai based news videographer E Velmurugan, Chandigarh based news presenter Davinder Pal Singh, Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh) based television scribe Manoj Kumar, Agra (UP) based journalist Pankaj Kulashrestha and Kolkata (West Bengal) based photojournalist Ronny Roy also lost their battles against the virus.
JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria, in a media statement, appreciated all media persons for relentlessly playing the role of corona warriors along with the practicing doctors, nurses, sanitation workers and police personnel in the pandemic. The forum also urged the Union government in New Delhi to announce a comprehensive insurance package for the media corona warriors.
However, the forum expressed anguish that even though over one hundred scribes across Assam got infected with the virus, the worrisome development has not been reported properly by the concerned news papers, news channels and digital platforms (except few infected media persons made personal revelations in the social media). It appreciated that Eenadu has owned the pain and pride while reporting the demise of Seshacharyulu fighting the virus infections.