‘Bhagya’ will enrich scribes in Assam

IN Regional Media | 10/09/2004

Speaking to this writer, a hard working journalist, who has already resigned from his present workplace to join the new daily, said that their management would address the journalists’ financial grievances seriously. "My would-be employer Bhagya Kalita has assured me of a handsome salary and facilities. We are hopeful that he would  follow the recommendations of the statutory wage board for the journalists and non-journalist newspaper employees from the beginning of the publication," asserted the singer turned journalist.

"The word ‘Bhagya’ literary means fortune. And Bhagya Kalita has brought fortune for me. I was getting a lump-sum payment of Rupees 4,500 till last month, but our management has now decided to increase my salary up to Rupees 10, 000 to be effected from this month," said a young Guwahati-based reporter working  in an Assamese daily, who is benefited by the repercussions of Bhagya Kalita’s venture. At least 25 journalists have joined in the mission of Bhagya Kalita with lucrative salary and facilities. Taking the advantage of the situation, many others are angling for a salary increaseof from their present management.

Otherwise, most of the journalists in Assam are living miserable lives. While they sincerely report about the grievance of the employees in other sectors, they themselves are exploited till date. Over 60 % media persons in Guwahati are deprived of some basic minimum facilities such as permanent appointment letter, leave, provident fund and medical facilities. The journalists are often exploited emotionally by the editor and the management, but subjected to ‘no job security’.  Leaving aside the oldest and prestigious news paper house, The Assam Tribune group of publications, no other groups implement the Manisena Singh wage board recommendation for the benefit of the  journalists and non-journalists newspaper employees. Two or three newspaper houses have implemented  the recommendation partially, but try to claim that it is being implemented fully. "We demand, the complete implementation of the statutory wage board for the benefit of the newspaper employees including the journalists. While paying a journalist may be a good example, but you should not ignore the other newspaper employees. Because it is entirely a team work," says Chandreswar Sharma, the secretary of The Assam Tribune Employees Union, the oldest and largest newspaper employees union in the region.

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