Before today, so many evenings have been spent at Elliot’s beach that I never thought of reporting and writing a story about the cleanliness and garbage scenario in the area. So when I started reading about it after being assigned the same, I learnt a lot of the environmental issues of beaches, the garbage dumped there, turtle nesting, waste audit etc.
Something which caught my attention was a report stating that there have been discrimination from the side of the company in charge of cleaning and garbage collection regarding provision of facilities, workers in the posh Besant Nagar and the low income dwellers of the kuppams.
But still, going to do the story on cleanliness and garbage scenario didn’t seem like a story till I actually went on the ground to report. I learnt how to observe at even the most mundane aspects of the place – the ice cream cart, the dustbins, the leftover garbage.
I expected that the beach would be dirty and that would be my story, but the beach was clean and then I got to know that I had just been cleaned the corporation workers. I found five of them but then thought I would struggle to communicate with them.
To my surprise one of them knew Hindi, I called up a Tamil friend who could talk to her further and get me more information but then I realized I got better quotes before when I spoke than when my friend translated.
Though I struggled to directly interact with the stall owners, my friend rescused me there.
It was interesting to realize that even for a basic story like cleanliness at Besant Nagar beach, I would speak to so many people and write a 650 word story!