GUWAHATI, June 19 - The Guwahati Press Club has pleaded for a contributory group insurance scheme for the benefit of the media employees, that is, the working journalists, full-time freelance journalists and other non-journalist employees, of the State.
In a statement here, Guwahati Press Club secretary Nava Thakuria said the need for such a scheme has become irrefutable considering the endless difficulties and financial limitations faced by the media employees in these days of sky-rocketing prices of essential items and services like life-saving medicines and healthcare services.
The Press Club is of the view that a contributory group insurance scheme, in which the beneficiary employees, owners of the media houses and the State government contribute equally, should be developed.
Most of the media employees working in the State have no life and health insurance coverage. The percentage of such media employees may go up to 80 per cent.
Healthcare facilities these days have become highly expensive, due to which the media employees often face hardships during medical treatment. The benefits provided by the ESI hospitals have lots of limitations. So the financial constraints always prevent them from taking due medical attention, which finally have adverse impacts on their health.
Rough statistics indicate that 60 per cent of Guwahati-based media employees do not have any individual or group life insurance coverage. Hence the death of a media employee brings distress for the family, when he/she is the sole earner.
The Press Club statement said that a group insurance policy as defined by the IRDA�s group insurance guidelines can provide advantages of standardised coverage and very competitive premium rates. The policy will be issued in the name of a group and if one leaves the group he/she might be entitled to continued coverage under an individual policy.
The proposed group insurance, to be operated by any recognised agency, would be open for everyone who wants to join the process. A beneficiary (media employee) will have to deposit his/her contribution directly to the agency, whereas the owners/proprietors of both print and electronic media houses would pay according to the number of their beneficiary employees. The third part of the contribution would be provided by the government under its welfare scheme.
The ultimate modalities of the group life and health insurance and also the assigned agency, may be finalised with the consent of the beneficiaries. Relevant feedback is welcome and can be submitted at the office of the Guwahati Press Club on working days, said Thakuria.