Recognising the journalists of the state as frontline workers, the Government of Sikkim is organising a special vaccination drive on May 19. Under this exclusive drive, about 150 to 200 journalists will be inoculated. The move, as a result of Sikkim Chief Minister PS Golay’s intervention, has been appreciated by the fraternity.
Giving importance to the safety of the journalists, the decision will be formally passed in a Cabinet meeting on May 18.
Right now, Gangtok has only one vaccination centre, but soon the vaccines will be available in other centres and those above 19 will be able to get themselves inoculated easily.
The Journalists’ Union of Sikkim has welcomed the move. The body has been trying to draw attention to the fact that journalists also risk their lives to report and disseminate important information for the good of the general public. Their work entails visiting high-risk areas, due to which the chances of contracting the virus are also high amongst them.
Earlier in the month of May, the governments of West Bengal, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh had declared journalists as frontline workers, so that they could be vaccinated on priority. Before these two states, Odisha and Bihar had already bestowed the status of frontline workers to their journalists, and assured them that they would be inoculated on priority.
Recently, the former chief minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, had written to the present chief minister, to consider including journalists and mediapersons of the state in the category of frontline workers, as their job takes them to hospitals and crematoriums, which are high-risk areas.