Chandigarh, July 1, 2023: The 24th Annual Meet of the Chandigarh-Punjab Union of Journalists (CPUJ) took place at the prestigious Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Public Administration in Sector 26. The event witnessed the esteemed presence of Punjab’s Health Minister, Dr. Balbir Singh, who graced the occasion as the chief guest.
Addressing the gathering, Dr. Balbir Singh commended the pivotal role of media in a democracy like India, acknowledging it as the fourth pillar of society. He further highlighted the evolving media landscape, particularly with the emergence of electronic and social platforms. The minister emphasized the important responsibility journalists hold in creating awareness about various welfare schemes. He also expressed concern over the challenges faced by journalists in the execution of their duties, particularly regarding their safety and freedom. Dr. Balbir Singh assured the audience that the Punjab government, under the leadership of CM Bhagwant, is fully committed to preserving the freedom of the press and pledged to take all necessary steps to safeguard it.
During the event, Vinod Kohli, the President of both IJU (Indian Journalists’ Union) and CPUJ, shared insights into the union’s journey. Originally known as the Chandigarh Punjab Patrakar Parishad, CPUJ has grown over the last 40 years to become the largest association of working journalists in the region, boasting a membership of over 700 professionals. Kohli proudly mentioned CPUJ’s significant contributions to the advocacy for journalists’ rights, notably the successful representation of their case before the Majithia Wage Board. This achievement resulted in a historic victory for journalists within the newspaper industry, as over 70 percent of the union’s demands were accepted, benefiting more than 16 lakh employees.
Vinod Kohli also addressed the challenges faced by journalists in the rapidly changing world of media. He reaffirmed CPUJ’s commitment to the welfare of journalists and pledged to protect the fourth estate from various threats. Kohli raised important concerns such as health insurance for journalists, urging the chief guest to address this issue and propose a suitable welfare scheme.