On May 30, 2020, the National Media Club (NMC) paid tribute to senior journalist Pankaj Kulshreshtha who lost his life to COVID-19 during the second week of May. Kulshreshtha was the Deputy News Editor of Dainik Jagran’s Agra bureau. Besides paying a soulful tribute through a webinar, NMC also provided monetary compensation of Rs. 1 lakh to his widow. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had also expressed solidarity with the late journalist’s family and had assured of financial help to his dependents. The webinar was attended online by thousands of journalists from across India and everyone paid homage to the departed soul.
At this webinar, UP Assembly Speaker, Hriday Narayan Dikshit also paid tribute to the departed journalist while NMC’s national president Sachin Awasthi visited Kulshreshtha’s family to hand over the financial help personally. NMC President also requested the state government, through Mr. Dikshit, to provide further help to the dead journalist’s family.
Speaking during the webinar, the UP Assembly Speaker said, “Independent India’s history has been witness to the atrocities committed against journalists during every decade. Today’s journalists are grateful to their counterparts in the history, be it Dr. Ambedkar, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay or Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, all of whom were journalists in their own right.” Mr. Dikshit also mentioned that in modern India, the field of journalism is full of challenges, the latest of which is the COVID-19. Pankaj Kulshreshtha had also lost his life in the line of duty. He further said, “I bow my head in front of the deceased member of journalist fraternity and I assure his family that the government is with them in this hour of grief.”
Addressing the webinar, NMC Founder, Ramesh Awasthi also paid homage to Kulshreshtha, recalling his decade-long association with journalism in Agra. He also recalled his personal association with the departed soul and acknowledged the moment of shock and disbelief that engulfed the journalist community when they heard about Kulshreshtha’s death.
On this occasion, the NMC Founder also announced that all the journalists, working despite Corona pandemic, at different levels in all the states of the country, will be considered for honor at the national level. He also said that a national-level program will be organized to honor the selected journalists and they will be invited to Delhi, for which the NMC would bear all the costs, including travel and lodgings.
It is worth mentioning that NMC was instrumental in organizing the first regional conference and the first National Media Ratna Event for the journalists in Uttar Pradesh. Speaking further, Mr. Awasthi also mentioned the thought behind NMC’s working, which is “Soch Bharat Ki” (Thinking of India)!
Apart from the webinar, NMC also arranged for people to join this homage ceremony through Facebook and other social media platforms.
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