DHAKA, June 30, 2020 (BSS) – As part of the government’s financial
assistance to the journalists needing help amid the Coronavirus crisis
and also family members who died of the disease, Information Minister
Dr Hasan Mahmud today distributed cheques among newsmen and victims’
family members to help them tide over their problems.
Hasan, also the chairman of Bangladesh Journalist Welfare Trust,
distributed the cheques at a function at the seminar room of Press
Institute of Bangladesh (PIB) in the city. The function was held
maintaining social distancing and participation of few journalists and
their family members.
Terming Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as journalists friendly, the
minister said the government under the dynamic leadership of the
premier is currently conducting the largest ever relief operation in
the history of the country.
“About seven crore people of the country have already come under the
government’s assistance programme in various ways. Such a big incident
never happened in the history of Bangladesh. The premier also gave
directives to bring journalists, who have fallen in crisis during the
pandemic, under special assistance,” said Hasan, also Awami League
joint general secretary.
Terming journalists as the front fighters during the ongoing
epidemic, the minister said, “Journalists, who have recently become
jobless, remained out of jobs and are not getting their wages for
long, would come under the special assistance programme with each
getting Taka 10,000.”
He said the special assistance would be given as a crisis-time aid
to 1,500 journalists irrespective of difference of thoughts and
opinions who have fallen in financial crisis due to the coronavirus
pandemic in the first phase. The other journalists would get the
assistance in phases, he added.
Besides, he said, a total of 199 journalists and their family
members would get regular financial assistance from the Journalists
Welfare Trust worth about Taka 1,69,25,000 under 2019-2020 fiscal
Hasan said, “We believe that the state is for all. So, everyone
would get the assistance of the state irrespective of thoughts and
opinion even he or she criticises the government strongly or not our
The minister gave thanks to the leaders of journalists unions to
make the lists as per his directives without seeing the thoughts or
opinions of beneficiaries.
Hasan said the journalists across the country are working fearlessly
and they are the front fighters during the coronavirus epidemic. “I
would like to extend my thanks and congratulations to all journalists
who are working in this situation,” he added.
He said many journalists have already been affected by coronavirus
and some of them died.
The AL joint general secretary prayed for the eternal peace of the
journalists who died of COVID-19 and coronavirus-like symptoms, and
sought early recovery of those infected with the lethal virus.
Later, the minister handed over cheques for Taka three lakh to each
victim’s family members including late photographer M Mizanur Rahman
of the daily Bangladesh Khabor, late staff reporter Aslam Rahman of
the daily Bhorer Kagoj and late Humayun Kabir Khokan, chief reporter
of the daily Somoyer Alo.
Besides, the minister also distributed few cheques to journalists in
Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) president Molla
Jalal, Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) president Quddus Affrad and
general secretary Sajjad Alam Khan Tapu, among others, spoke in the
meeting with Press Institute of Bangladesh Director General and also
managing director of the trust Zafar Wazed in the chair.
Member secretary of the trust Md Mahfuzul Haque was also present in
Besides, journalists Golam Mohiuddin Khan and late Khokan’s wife
Sharmin Sultana Rina also spoke on behalf of the cheques receivers.