Tanay Sukumar, June 8, 2010
A news channel reporter has not yet been rescued after he fell inside a borewell in the village of Anarkali, 10 km from Agra. The incident happened when the reporter, Vinod Singh, was covering a story about a five-year-old girl, Princess, who had fallen into the same borewell earlier in the day.
It has been 40 hours since the girl fell into the borewell. Singh’s channel has put a digital timer on its screen to show that how long it has been since the reporter fell. The channel, however, still maintains the headline as, “Princess ko bachaana hai” (Save Princess).
Television footage shows Singh reporting in an excited and enthusiastic manner. He repeatedly bent down to peep inside the large hole drilled to reach the girl. His left foot slipped during one such attempt, when the newsroom anchor apparently shouted his name loudly because his voice could not be heard properly.
There were unconfirmed reports that some army personnel, who were called to rescue the girl, have been bribed by the television channel to rescue the reporter before the girl. According to sources, this was done so that the rescued reporter could cover the news of the child being rescued, since the channel has no substitute reporters to cover this whole incident.
The last time a similar event happened in Madhya Pradesh, a toilet break at the exact moment had apparently caused the channel’s photographer to miss the videos of the child being rescued. The channel is eager not to miss it this time.
Our source with the channel said on condition of anonymity: “The CEO wants an alive Vinod Singh to cover the rescue of the girl, whether live or dead. However, efforts are being made to select an insane, noisy and excitable correspondent to be sent to Agra as soon as possible.”
The incident has not discouraged reporters from other channels, and the place is now intolerably noisy, with each reporter trying to put forth his noisiest voice and the most fake sympathy for the parents of the girl. The parents of the girl are asking the state government to pay compensation and a place in Bollywood for Princess if she is taken out safely.