About 175 journalists and media workers have died after contracting Covid-19 in the past 14 months in India, according to a tally by the Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI).
In a memorial page, NWMI has compiled a comprehensive list of retired and working reporters, editors, anchors, photographers, and photojournalists who have died. It is unknown how many contracted the virus while working.
"We mourn the loss of what they knew, what they loved, what each of them did, one story at a time, one photo at a time, one dataset at a time. From within our community of those of us who go everywhere unasked, we mourn the loss of our comrades, friends, bosses and colleagues and bear witness to their final journeys," read the statement issued by NWMI.
India is currently battling a second wave of Covid-19 cases and facing severe shortage of oxygen, hospital beds, medicines and vaccines. This has exacerbated the death toll across the country.
Journalists in India were largely not included in the initial phase of the vaccination program when it was made available to frontline workers. Meanwhile, media houses have also failed to provide safe working conditions.
"Media houses need to actively ensure the safety and health of journalists who work for them and those who, as independent stringers or freelancers, supply vital information, photographs and videos to them. Media houses must stop forcing journalists to travel in dangerously unsafe conditions to work in offices instead of encouraging them to work from home," stated the NWMI.