Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday announced a financial aid of Rs 6,000 for every newspaper hawker to help them tide over the COVID-19 crisis.
The Chief Minister also said that they would be given financial cover for accidents. In case of death due to accident, the government will pay Rs 2 lakh as compensation to the family.
Principal Secretary Information & Public Relations Bishnupada Sethi coordinated the entire ceremony.
Hawkers will be entitled to anything between Rs 40,000 to Rs 80,000 if left incapacitated. Also, families of newspaper hawkers, who die of natural causes, would be given Rs 1 lakh as compensation, the CM stated.
According to an official release issued by the CMO, Odisha is the “first state in the country to offer COVID-19 assistance for newspaper hawkers”.
As many as 7,300 newspaper hawkers, who have been registered under the state’s Unorganized Workers’ Social Security Board, will get the benefits, officials said. The state will incur an expenditure of Rs 4.38 crore for the purpose, they said.
Mr.Patnaik, after making the announcement, said the hawkers have undertaken risks amid the pandemic to deliver newspapers and their hard work should be acknowledged and appreciated.
He further said that a database of the eligible hawkers was being prepared by the Information and Public Relations Department, and each beneficiary will soon be provided with an identity card.
Information & Public Relation Minister Raghunandan Das hailed the initiative of the Chief Minister and said that this will immensely help the hawkers. Media Advisor Manas Mangaraj said the initiative is unique and pioneering in the country.
The Chief Minister also interacted with some hawkers described their plight during the pandemic and hailed the initiative.