Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Friday announced to form Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha Journalist Welfare Fund for journalists so that they could get financial help in time of need.
He was speaking at a function organised by the Punjab Union of Journalists to mark the 100 years of Ghadar Newspaper at Sarabha village, the native place of Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha.
Acceding to the demand of the union, he said the state government would soon constitute the Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha Journalist Welfare Fund to help mediapersons to brave any odds in eventuality of any unforeseen circumstances.
Earlier, the union members informed the chief minister that the journalists in the rural areas got very low salaries or worked without salaries due to which they faced running their homes.
Badal said Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha was not only a true patriot but also a fearless and upright journalist who played a vanguard role in starting the 'Ghadar' newspaper for bringing awareness among the masses to uproot the British Raj.
"The media must follow the footsteps of Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha in serving the country in true sense," he added.
Advising journalists do to more agricultural reporting, the Badal asked journalists to do developmental
and motivational reporting, while avoiding false news.
He also exhorted the journalists to make all-out efforts to promote the ethos of communal harmony, peace and brotherhood in the state, which was necessary for its overall development.
Terming the media as the fourth pillar of democracy, the chief minister said the journalist fraternity should make concerted efforts to highlight the social maladies faced by the country, thereby awakening the people to eliminate them.
Lashing out at the union government, Badal said even after more than six decades of Independence, the successive Congress governments at the Centre had ignored the enormous contribution of Punjabis in the national freedom struggle.
Interacting with the mediapersons, the chief minister said that the union government had forced the state government to impose property tax in the state.
He said if the states did not comply with the norms set by the union government, they stopped the developmental grants to them, which made the state's growth suffer.
Later, the chief minister also presided over a sports tournament organised by Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha Sports Club.
The chief minister was accompanied by MLA Manpreet Singh Ayali and Punjabi Sahit Akademy president Professor Gurbhajan Singh Gill.
Ludhiana to get press club
Following another demand of journalists, the chief minister also announced to construct a press club on the name of Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha in Ludhiana. He asked the officials to find a suitable land and government would provide funds for the club's construction.