Ravinder Singh, a freelance reporter based in Amritsar, India, met in an April 30 virtual dialogue with 35 journalists from Pakistan and India who are participating in an East-West Center cross-border reporting program. They were discussing how they could collaborate on pandemic reporting. That dialogue proved to be a life-saving opportunity. Here is Ravinder’s report.
The COVID-19 pandemic has strongly impacted all segments of society. During this crisis journalists, who are also considered frontline warriors, have not only been doing their job but also delivering their social responsibilities towards society.
Through social media and contacts, they are trying to reach out to the concerned for help, and I know many journalists who are working round-the-clock for such services.
Last night during an online webinar hosted by the East-West Center, I got an #SOS call from a colleague in New Delhi who was struggling to get an oxygen bed for another colleague who lost his job, caught the Covid-19 virus, and urgently needed medical help.
I took this as an opportunity to reach out to Indian journalists in the virtual dialogue and flagged the #SOS message for help. "SOS… Just getting call-Please to allow me to take this platform-all friend from India. One of our colleagues from media needs oxygen at CWG at Delhi…if possible to get for him please call me at #$%&".
One of the Indian journalists, Ms. Jayashree Nandi based in New Delhi, immediately responded. She talked with a concerned doctor and an oxygen bed was arranged for the needy journalist.
Human nature to help each other is amazing. The person who was in trouble and the person who helped -- I had never personally met these two in the past.
Thank you East-West Center for this program on building relations and improving skills on reporting cross-border stories -- it saved a life.