Published On : Sun, Oct 13th, 2013

India is best example with freedom of press in world: Shinde

Sushilkumar Shinde unveils world’s first ’Statue of Freedom of Press’ in Nagpur

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Nagpur Today News : In honor of the freedom of media, Maharashtra’s publication giant Lokmat Media Ltd dedicated world’s first Statue of Freedom of Press’ and also a statue of a hawker alongside the statue to recognize the remarkable contribution of the hawkers to press and the society at large. This is for the first time in the world that a newspaper organization is recognizing the vital role played by hawkers and honoring them. The hawkers who form the crucial link with readers in the supply of newspaper.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde unveiled the ‘Statue of Freedom of Press’ at Lokmat’s printing press complex at Butibori on October 13, 2013. A photo exhibition of the journalists who laid down their lives for freedom of press was also inaugurated. Lokmat Group Chairman Vijay Darda,  Lok Sabha MP Vilas Muttemwar, MP Datta Meghe, Guardian Minister Shivajirao Moghe, State Minister Anil Raut, Former Minister Satish Chaturvedi, Former Minister Anees Ahmed, Congress Leader Jaiprakash Gupta, MLC Dinanath Padole, Director Operations of Lokmat Group Ashok Jain, Former Editor of Lokmat Samachar Kumar Ketkar, Municipal Commissioner Shyam Wardhane, NIT Chairman Pravin Darade, Chairman of Abhijeet Group Manoj Jayaswal, Hotelier Mohabat Singh Tuli and Sarpanch of Butibori Sageeta Lagote were prominently  present during the inauguration function.

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Senior journalists were also felicitated in function by the Home Minister Sushil kumar Shinde. They include Rambhau Joshi (Pune),Vilas Zunzar (Kolhapur), Datta Saraf (Nashik), Umesh Choubey (Nagpur), Kamlakar Dharap
(Lokmat), Meghnad Bodhankar (Nagpur), Madhukar Bhave (Mumbai), Sudhkarrao Doifade (Marathwada), Dr.Arun Tikekar (Mumbai), Olga Telis
(Mumbai),Vidhyadar Palak (Jalgaon), Cyril D’Cunha (Goa) and Suresh Bhaanewara (Nasik). Those who could not make it for the felicitation are M.G. Vaidya (Nagpur), Shankar Mahakalkar (Pune) and Uttam Kamble (Pune) were not able to attend the function.

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In his welcome speech Lokmat Group Chairman and Rajya Sabha Member Vijay Darda who had conceived the idea of the Freedom of Press Statue said that, “It is a historical day when we have gathered here to honour the journalist and the freedom of press. We should recognize the freedom of press and their right to express their thoughts and news freely without any hinderance and pressures. When the media fights for the rights of the common people, someone should fight for them too.

Addressing the gathering Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said that, “India is a good example of a country with freedom of press in the world. He lauded Lokmat’s initiative in erecting the statue to honour hawkers. He praised Vijay Darda and said that it is worth appreciating an owner of a media house for not forgetting the simple hawker who distributes the newspapers from house to house or a stall owner. Freedom of the press is a sign of equality in the society.”

Olga Telis, the only lady journalist to be felicitated during the occasion, and Senior Journalist Kumar Ketkar also spoke during the occasion. Ketkar in his speech said that, “The next two years will be very tough for the press. Freedom of press is a global idea concept.” He added.

Kiran Agathe the sculptor of both the statues was also felicitated by the Home Minister during the occasion. Also present on the occasion were the executive editors of Lokmat Samachar, Lokmat and Lokmat Times. Dinkar Raikar (Executive-Editor of Lokmat Media) proposed the vote of thanks.

Charles Salve