Yesterday, we were out for our first official beat reporting, each with their own ‘story’ had to find their way in this “GREEN” city. Few of them familiar with the places had no problem in finding the place they had to go to, some got lost, some did not know where to go (I was one among them), what story to do – absolutely clueless. One of my friends told me where I should go (because she knew my story). It was in the morning when I actually decided I should be going to Victoria Hospital which is few steps away from K.R. Market.
Ok, Now! Why did I go there? (Because my story was related to that place; the angle completely changed and so did the place) My story was about the Illegal supply of ganja, marijuana and mobile phones in Bangalore Central Jail (which wasn’t NEW, was already in Newspapers and wasn’t my story anymore). My friend told me that the Jail inmates were admitted at Victoria Hospital as they went on an indefinite fast-unto-death from August 12. The strike was called off on Monday and 31 were admitted due to ill-health.
As I walked into the hospital premises, I found people giving me weird looks, I understood it was the PRESS card 🙂 and I moved on, not giving much attention to such looks. I was looking for the ward where the prisoners were being treated. I found it. I went to the Security personnel and asked them if I could go in. He told me to get the permission of Medical Superintendent (M.S) and I had no other way but go to M.S and get a letter. I was waiting outside his office and finally got my turn to meet M.S. After telling him I wanted to see the prisoners, the only thing he told me was “GET LOST! I’m in a hurry. Don’t ask me anything”. I wasn’t surprised because I was doubtful if he would allow me to enter that block where the inmates were undergoing their treatment.
Somehow, I was disappointed. Very. I walked out of his office. I started having second thoughts about my story. I went back to the back gate of the block where prisoners were there. Like a hungry-reporter for news, i was looking through the iron bars of the gate. Asking every possible doctor and Aya Didi if i could go in. None of them looked at me, nor helped. I thought I would trash this story and go to some other place to find a story and finish with it. I was walking towards the gate – depressed, angry and what not! Suddenly, I saw a handcuffed-prisoner on the opposite side, walking with two constables and I followed them.
They gave me those doubtful looks. A little hope of getting a story came alive when I saw that man (inmate ). I wanted to go to the constables and ask about that man. I was kind of doubtful, scared about their reaction to the PRESS card. I could not hold myself back. I went right upto a constable and asked him about the prisoner and other details. I got sufficient details. The prisoner himself spoke to me well. I had no problem while speaking to him. The prisoner’s brother was sitting beside the constable and the information he gave me added something to my story. Tamil, which I could speak in bits and pieces, finally helped me get a story. (Thanks to the one who found it 😀 :D) Even at this point of time, I did not know what my story was, But went on collecting information and asking question. I was done with the collecting information from different doctors, DEAN and patients.
I was walking and found Police vans and police personnel on the road. I asked one of them what was happening. He told “15 prisoners’ condition is stable and they are being shifted to Jail from hospital”. (Damn! that’s my story) I was the first to get this news. I was elated, happy and content. It was around 12p.m and I saw inmates getting into the van. I asked the Police if I could click a picture, he said, NO! I somehow got a picture. 🙂
This was how my clueless, no-angle-story turned into a meaningful and factual story. I do not know if it is going to be accepted but I’m happy for doing some job in getting useful information from the people I met. Some kind of satisfaction in me kept me going. Because this seat at IIJNM is no cake walk. The faculty expects (fairly) good work from each individual and it is for me to live upto their expectations and improve myself day by day and article by article.