Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

According to famous poet Kahlil Gibran, love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.

The daredevil journalist Arindam Das of Odisha Television Limited, who had carved a niche for himself flirting with danger in lively and brave natural disaster reporting is mourned by the whole journalism fraternity across Odisha to mark one year of his tragic death at Cuttack Mundali barrage.

The whole State is missing the live reporting of the easy-going soul when a natural calamity strikes Odisha. Dear colleagues of the ‘all weatherman’ (as he is popularly known) are yet to believe about the sad demise of the brave journalist in the unfortunate accident on the fateful day.

Fearlessness and sincerity was on his blood. He was fully dedicated to his profession and immensely popular for his out of box thinking. He was unique in his thinking and always tried his best to beat stereotype. He stood out among his peers because of his versatility. Arindam was a popular face in the State while reporting courageously on the ground during cyclone, flood, left wing extremism, wildlife reporting or any other natural calamity and disaster related situations. 

His penchant for news made him encounter the scariest of situations from cyclones and floods to bring the latest updates from ground zero.

With his approach and passion for daredevil journalism, he had earned admiration from across households in the State.

Going by the date, today is the first death anniversary of Arindam. He had breathed his last on September 24, 2021 during the ground reporting of the rescue operation of an elephant near Mundali barrage on river Mahanadi in Cuttack.

On the fateful day, Arindam was on a boat with co-cameraperson Prabhat Sinha and members of the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) to live report rescue of an elephant stuck near Mundali bridge.

 Subsequently, the boat overturned due to the strong current. Aridam lost his life in the accident. 

Such is the love and admiration for him, that despite knowing the hard truth that he will never be back, his friends, colleagues, fans and followers still yearn for him.

Earlier on the 'Tithi’ of Arindam’s death anniversary, Odisha Television Network’s Managing Director (MD) Jagi Mangat Panda had unveiled a lifelike statue of the daredevil journalist at his ancestral home in Keonjhar’s Raikala. Following the unveiling of the statue, a memorial service was also held at his village. A book was also released on the occasion containing testaments from Arindam’s friends and family on his life.

A scholarship has also been instituted by OTV in memory of its late journalist Arindam. Under this scholarship, one meritorious, economically backward student will receive their entire course fee each year. Amlan Nanda, a third year computer science engineering student of Sambalpur University Institute of Information Technology (SUIIT) is the first recipient of Arindam Das Memorial Scholarship.

Recalling Arindam, OTV cameraman Prabhat Sinha said, “We together have covered many natural disasters like floods and cyclones. He always asks for my support. We have started our work together by covering the story of an elephant at Nandankanan zoo. In a tragic incident, Arindam Bhai lost his life while we both were covering the rescue operation of an elephant. Arindam Bhai will always be missed.”

Cherishing the memory of the brave journalist, senior journalist Sandeep Mishra said, “Arindam was exemplary in crime, natural disaster and left wing extremism reporting,”
“Journalists should also be careful about their own safety while reporting. Self regulation will help journalists to control the situation. All the journalists should keep it in mind and learn it from Arindam’s incident,” said Mishra.