Dharamshala: Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said that small newspapers were playing important role in publicizing the developmental and public welfare oriented policies of the Government to the farthest corners of the State. The Government was providing all possible assistance to these small newspapers and periodicals who were working with zeal despite financial constraints.

The Chief Minister was presiding over the 34th annual function of Himachal Kesari newspaper at Dharamshala today. He said that press was the fourth pillar of democracy which played pivotal role in the freedom struggle of the country and thereafter for the reconstruction of the modern India. He expressed concern over the yellow journalism in big media houses adding that true and transparent journalism should be encouraged so that the vital socio-economic issues could be highlighted in right perspective.

Virbhadra Singh lauded the efforts of Himachal Kesari newspaper for its consistent efforts during past over three decades for the society and journalism and also appreciated the initiatives of the newspaper in honouring the eminent personalities of different fields.

Praveen Roy, Editor, Himachal Kesari said that the newspaper had strived hard to maintain the standards of journalism during its journey of 34 years. He thanked the Chief Minister for gracing the occasion and said that he had always given protection and support to the small newspapers in the State.

Chief Minister honoured various personalities with the Himachal Kesari Award on the occasion. Karan Singh, MLA was honoured in the field of politics. Devesh Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, Mandi for administration, Abhishek Dullar, S.P. Shimla for police services, Amitabh Awasthi, Mission Director, NHRM for health services, Landmark Hotel Shimla for tourism, Divya Manav Anathalaya, Dehar, district Mandi for social services, Pawan Sharma, correspondent, Divya Himachal for journalism, Krishan Kumar Nutan for literary work, Shoolini University, Solan for education, Pt. Lekh Raj Sharma for astrology, Jagran Pahal NGO for environment, J.P. Cements Ltd. for industries, Anurag Prashar for electronic media, Harbhajjan Singh for youth power, Surender Sharma for youth entrepreneur, J.S. Guleria for art and culture, Prem Prasad advocate for legal affairs and Desh Raj, photographer, Dainik Jagran for photo journalism.

Sudhir Sharma, Urban Development Minister, Jagjivan Pal, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Ajay Mahajan and Pawan Kajal, MLAs, Kewal Singh Pathania, Vice Chairman, H.P. Forest Development Corporation, Viplove Thakur, Senior Congress leader, Surender Kaku, Ex MLA, Rohan Thakur, ADC and other prominent persons were present on the occasion among others.