Let me tell you what happened in 2017 when I was briefly employed with a Tamil news channel. #thread

#Anitha took her life. Obviously the newsroom went crazy. Channel boss wanted full live, hammer, tongs, the works. #neet (1/n)
So began the circus. I panicked, ran to PCR & asked everyone to dial it down. Explained copycat suicides to channel boss. Asked anchors, PCR team to stay calm, don't sensationalize, put out suicide prevention helpline numbers. Went ok for a bit. (2/n)
Then as I watch, full live of body of that child in a freezer box on air. Anchors, reporters heaving, shouting high pitched rhetoric. My pleas were ignored. This went on for days. More kids died by their own hand. Ripple effect. But the circus wouldn't stop. (3/n)
Many years later, some of these same people who were then my colleagues decided to launch a smear campaign. They said I was a brahmin who tried not to allow Anitha's story to go on air. A publication claiming to be journalistic even carried these lies. (4/n)
Of course that daft reporter didn't think it was important to get my version of things. Now cut to today. The govt lost its nerve after one more student took her life this morning. Bureaucrats were helter skelter trying to salvage the situation. (5/n)
Tamil channels seem to have been told not to play up the story today. The usual suspects pretended it never happened. The same people who howled to the heavens when Anitha died suddenly now realise that copycat suicides do happen. It's real. (6/n)
Old channel boss is especially silent. If these people have understood that playing politics over dead bodies of children has consequences, good for them. Doesn't matter whether the advice came from the DMK or from silly ol' me. Fin. (n/n)

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More from @sandhyaravishan

14 Jun
Lots of numbers, very confusing yes, I know. So let me try & break down our expose for you all. If any doubts, pls don't hesitate to ask.

Crux: 252 unexplained deaths on average EVERY SINGLE DAY in May 2021 in #Chennai alone.

I'll tell you how I calculated this. #Thread (1/n)
1. Got into Chennai Corporation site & pulled out all death certificates issued to male/female/transgender persons. This was done for EACH DAY from May 1, 2021 to May 31, 2021. Total death certificates issued in May 2021 by GCC = 15,920 @IndiaAheadNews @mkstalin @RAKRI1 (2/n)
2. Now we need to compare this raw data. Same exercise done for May 1 to May 31, 2020 (first wave). That worked out to 6559 death certificates in total issued in May 2020. @Subramanian_ma @GSBediIAS (3/n)
Read 9 tweets
16 May
Let me tell you what the situation in Tamil Nadu is like right now. #Thread

1. Calls for ICU beds are skyrocketing. But there are no beds available.

2. Many pvt hospitals are running out of oxygen. They're discharging patients on O2 because it's just not available. (1/n)
3. Some pvt hospitals are just sending out patients because they don't want deaths.

4. Many small hospitals have converted to Covid beds due to govt insistence. But now they have no assured O2 supply.

5. 108 Ambulances are queueing up in a big way outside Govt Hospitals.(2/n)
6. These ambulances cannot be deployed unless (a) they have oxygen and (b) the patient gets a bed.

7. Consumables like NRBMs etc are in short supply.

8. Almost all hospitals are running at very low oxygen capacity. They are discharging/not admitting patients needing O2. (3/n)
Read 5 tweets
1 May
A few of us have come together to provide info on TN Covid helplines that actually work. We are verifying this ourselves & putting out only numbers that are being answered. This #Thread will keep getting updated. Pls ask those in need to refer. #Covid19IndiaHelp #TNFightsCovid
To check where hospital beds are available across Tamil Nadu. #Covid19IndiaHelp #CovidIndia #TNFightsCovid
Please share widely so people know where to go in case of emergency.
#Verified District helpline number for #Perambalur
Please amplify by sharing the image on WhatsApp groups. People need to know who to call in case of symptoms, help etc. #Covid19IndiaHelp #TNFightsCovid
Read 26 tweets
30 Apr
We need clear helpline numbers for each district for #COVID19 - where to test, how to request mobile van for elderly/infirm, where beds are available specifically, docs available to consult over phone/online. Pls publicise this @CMOTamilNadu @RAKRI1 @chennaicorp
Pls print pamphlets, posters, stick them on walls. @chennaicorp tele-counseling numbers are not working. People need info. They are scrambling without clear info. Pls publicise SOPs - ask media to repeat over and over again. What to do if you have fever. Where to test etc.
There's too much confusion. Only govt can mass communicate. Clear precise communication is needed. Even ppl living abroad should know who to call in districts to get help for parents living here. Pls mobilise @CMOTamilNadu @RAKRI1
Read 4 tweets
28 Apr
Offered without comment. ImageImageImage
Many of you are asking my views on this. I learnt this years ago from Dr Lakshmi Vijayakumar when we discussed about suicide prevention & media impact. Thumb rules - report facts unemotionally, provide info on where to seek help.
In a crisis like this, uncertainty is frightening. I feel it's our job to provide clarity and information. Govts will try to hide deaths, cases but we can report it factually & hold them to account. Same with medical supplies, oxygen etc.
Read 4 tweets
23 Apr
After speaking to a variety of experts some things have become clear. We, the people were careless, reckless. Govts - centre + states - had little vision or foresight. They did not listen to experts warning them about 2nd wave. (1/n) #Thread #COVIDEmergency2021
States like Del, Maha, Guj had zero vision to invest in oxygen production. MP is worse - no oxygen produced in the state at all. We've suddenly realised we are unable to transport oxygen. What were state govts doing since Oct-Nov? (2/n)
Recklessness of political leaders in election States + apathy of @ECISVEEP are mind boggling. They brought people to their deaths. People took money and crowded unmasked, uncaring. Coz "Corona poyiduchey". Admin didn't bother vaccinating coz "Violation of poll rules". (3/n)
Read 4 tweets

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