The Delhi Union of Journalists(DUJ), in a charter to the Delhi government, headed by Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, has called upon the state government to take the lead in setting up a Delhi Media Commission , for the print , digital and electronic media, in the lines of the First And Second Press Commissions. This could look, into the deplorable conditions of journalists and press workers as well as other problems connected with the industry.
The charter released today – has called for a permanent wage fixation machinery/wage board, as it is overdue for the entire media. It has demanded immediate control of the menace of contract labour specially in permanent posts as ‘‘contracts keep journalists subservient and impinge on freedom of the press”. It has also called for implementing the wage board recommendations in a time bound manner as per Supreme Court judgments.
In a joint press statement today President Mr.SK Pande and General Secretary Sujata Madhok, further stressed the necessity of an affordable healthcare system. It charged that even today, most employers do not provide any healthcare facilities. A large number of journalists are self-employed freelancers, who earn little and require such healthcare support for themselves and their families. The government could also consider extending existing healthcare schemes to the journalist community. Many state governments do offer such facilities to journalists, it said.
The DUJ also calls for a Delhi Media Council comprising the entire wide spectrum media to be a future model to replace the present Press Council of India model- as it is out dated, toothless and limited today.
It has called for support for its long standing demand to set up a new Wage board/ new permanent wage fixation mechanism for the wide spectrum media of today.
The charter points out: that it has been three decades now since the Delhi government allotted cooperative housing plots to journalists and other media employees. The young generation in the profession is forced to live on exorbitant rents in the city or move to the outskirts where rentals are lower. We request the allotment of housing plots to journalists’ organisations to enable the building of affordable cooperative housing. Perhaps such a scheme could incorporate artists, writers and others intellectuals residing in Delhi and its immediate neighborhood.
It is called upon the Delhi Government to introduce a new pension scheme for journalists. The majority of media workers do not get a pension as they are either contract workers or freelancers. A minority get a small contributory pension through the Provident Fund authority but this ranges from Rs.500 to Rs.2500 only. In contrast state governments such as that of Haryana and Kerala among other state provide a pension of Rs.10, 000 per month to some journalists.