ONI Bureau: Veteran Odia Cine Journalist Radhanath Mohapatra died at the age of 56 on May 9, 2018 following a prolonged illness. Tributes and condolences poured in. People seek to remember his contribution to Journalism and Odia Cine Industry. But, did we do enough when he was alive?
Radhanath worked as a Journalist for the last 20 years in Odia news papers ‘Sambad’, ‘Dharitri’, ‘Samaya’ and ‘Nitidin’. He also worked as an Associate Editor in Cine Sambad. He received several awards.
Radhanath Mahapatra has been suffering from several critical ailments for the last few years. When things went worse, his wife appealed to CM Naveen Patnaik and PM Narendra Modi in December 2017 after opening a Twitter handle. Unfortunately, she did not know to tag other relevant people in media and social sphere. So, it was quite obvious that her appeal fell on deaf ears.
Although she kept tweeting the CMO and Naveen Patnaik continuously, there was no response at all. She finally expressed her displeasure and stopped after 2 months. What’s the use of having Twitter Handles and asking people to air their grievances when your handlers ignore such distress calls? The CMO has a lot to answer. And, the PMO too can’t escape the blame here.
@Naveen_Odisha namaskar sir,it's been a while i have given my tweet to provide financial assistance to my husband radhanath mahapatra but no financial assistance have been provided to us yet.please sir help us coz his health condition is getting serious day by day.jay jagannath
— mandakini mahapatra (@_mandakini__) February 3, 2018
@Naveen_Odisha namaskar sir aditya care hospital gave us the estimated amount that is 3.4 lakh for my husband radhanath mahapatra's operation govt officials already done there enquiry.but they are delaying the process.please take action we dont have any money for the operation.
— mandakini mahapatra (@_mandakini__) January 18, 2018
@narendramodi sir my husband radhanath mahapatra senior journalist in odhisa he is about to have an valve replacement surgery in two weeks the est amount given by hospital is 3.4 lakhs no one is helping us sir we dont have any money respected pm of india plz help my husband plz
— mandakini mahapatra (@_mandakini__) February 8, 2018
On April 18, 2018, Radhanath Mohapatra was admitted to Aditya Care Hospital in a critical condition. The bill was huge and he needed more to undergo critical operations.
i am so pissed with the govt of odisha @Naveen_Odisha sir its been 2 months iam tweeting continuously to provide us financial assistance for my husbands operation.he is a senior journalist and yet no one is helping i still believe that our hon'ble cm will help us.jay jagannath
— mandakini mahapatra (@_mandakini__) February 21, 2018
His family and well wishers circulated a message on WhatsApp and Facebook, seeking help. It’s not known whether anyone helped or not. But, it’s clear that he did not get the support he deserved. He finally breathed his last on May 9, leaving a series of unanswered questions for us.
1. Is the Life of a Journalist so cheap?
2. Why the Chief Minister remains silent despite the series of tweets addressed to him?
3. If it’s not the failure of CM, will he ensure to take action on his Social Media handlers and improve the mechanism in future?
4. Don’t we need a Journalists’ Corpus Fund to deal with such cases?
5. Will the PMO ensure that such cases are treated with highest priority and respective State Governments are notified immediately?