Odisha’s Gopabandhu Sambadika Swasthya Bima Yojana

The Chief Minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik recently declared working journalists of the State of Odisha as the frontline COVID-19 warriors. This announcement was made under the Gopabandhu Sambadika Swasthya Bima Yojana. With these more than 6,500 journalists are to be benefitted in the state.

Gopandhu Sambadika Swasthya Bima Yojana

  • It is a health insurance scheme that was introduced for the journalists by the Odisha state government. The scheme provides two lakh rupees of health insurance cover to all the working journalists of the state.
  • It was launched in 2018.
  • The scheme includes cashless treatment in government and private hospitals.
  • It also covers illness and injuries faced by journalists while performing their duties.

Gopalbandhu Das

  • The scheme has been named after Gopalbandhu Das. He was a popular reformer, social worker, journalist, political activist, essayist and a poet in Odisha.
  • His contributions to the field of culture, art and society earned him the “Epithet of Utkalmani”. It means the Jewel of Odisha.
  • He launched a magazine called “Satyabadi”. His contributions to journalism were short but remarkable.

Other states

Several other states also declared journalists as frontline workers. This includes Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh.

Significance

The significance of declaring journalists as frontline workers is that they will be vaccinated in Phase I of COVID-19 vaccination programme of India. The beneficiaries of phase I of COVID-19 vaccination programme are health care workers, frontline workers and those in the population greater than fifty years. The current frontline workers are home guards, armed forces, prison staff, municipal workers, civil defence volunteers including disaster management volunteers.

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