The Odisha Television Limited (OTV) has announced Rs. 20 lakh compensation for journalist Arindam Das who died while covering the rescue operation of an elephant in Cuttak on September 24. Colleagues of Das also came forward to help the family.
Jagi Mangat Panda, Managing Director, OTV, while announcing the compensation for the family, said, “Losing Arindam is a colossal loss not only for me but for our entire organization. There will never be another Arindam.” She further added that just monetary compensation would not fill the void Das’s death has created. “His family is now our family, and we will take care of them,” she said.
While paying tributes to Das, Panda said, “In the last 23 years of OTV’s journey, I have not seen a more fearless journalist than Arindam anywhere in entire Odisha. His demise is not only a loss to OTV but the whole state. I salute the mother who gave birth to such a brave reporter,” she said.
Journalist body holding fundraiser for Das’ family
The Indian Institute of Mass Communication Alumni Association (IIMCAA) also announced a fundraiser for Das’s family. In a tweet published from their official Twitter account, the association urged everyone to come forward and support the family by participating in the fundraiser.
The association wrote, “We lost a braveheart journalist Arindam Das, while he was reporting a rescue operation. We cannot compensate for the pain and loss his family has suffered but can support them at this crucial juncture. As the only son, he had many liabilities and responsibilities towards his family.”
The incident that took Das’s life
On September 24, a young elephant got stuck in the Mahanadi river at the Mundali barrage in the city. Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) team launched a rescue operation to save the animal as it was stranded amidst the high-speed river current, terrified and unable to escape.
Arindam Das, along with cameraman Prabhat Sinha, had boarded a boat and followed the ORDAF team to cover the rescue mission. Sadly, the boat was capsized by the strong river current. The duo was swept away, and it was too late before they could be recovered. Das and Sinha were admitted to the SCB Medical College and hospital in Cuttack. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the doctors, the Chief reporter of OTV did not survive.
Cameraman Prabhat Sinha was also admitted to the SCB Medical College and hospital in a critical condition. As per the latest reports, he has recovered and has been discharged from the hospital.