IMPHAL, Jun 30: Chief Minister Okram Ibobi has assured to take up different measures for the welfare of journalist fraternity of the State. The assurance was given during a meeting with representatives of the All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU) today. Speaking to reporters at Manipur Press Club after the meeting, AMWJU president Wangkhemcha Shamjai said that the AMWJU team submitted a charter of demands comprising ten points to the Chief Minister during the meeting. A mega lottery would be conducted on October 30 to develop a corpus fund for the journalists, Shamjai said and added that the corpus fund would be used to provide aid to ailing members of the union.
Shamjai said that the Chief Minister assured the AMWJU team to develop a memorial site within December this year at Thangmeiband Cheiraoching for Thangjam Dijamani, who died while on duty some years back. The president further said that a press academy would be set up at the earliest in addition to organising workshops and seminars on the duties and responsibilities of journalists from to time. Saying that the Government has provided space for opening a branch of AMWJU on the first floor of Jiribam Municipal Council building, Shamjai said that the Chief Minister also assured to provide sites for opening branches at Moreh, Mao, Ukhrul and Tamenglong etc.
Shamjai further said that the Chief Minister told the AMWJU team that efforts would be made to discuss the matter of providing ex-gratia to the scribes who are killed in the line of duty in the State Cabinet. The Chief Minister also promised to take up steps and study of the models of other States in consultation with DIPR to provide free medical aid and journalist family benefit scheme to the scribes. Shamjai further said that in order to assess economic and tourism avenues, a tour for journalists to Bangkok via Myanmar on road would be conducted ahead of this year’s Manipur Sangai Festival. He also urged the media houses of the State to send a representative each for the tour. Moreover, efforts would be made to form a scribes’ body for South East Asian countries with Manipur as its headquarters, Shamjai said. Shamjai further said that AMWJU would fete the new Director of DIPR, Kongkham Meghachandra on July 3.