Media management: Child does not fall in drain

Media and local government officials swing into ‘action’ on false report.

Our Correspondent August 05, 2012

LAHORE: Alarms were raised in local government and television news offices after a child fell into a drain on Sunday, only it turned out that the child was actually a calf.

Rescue 1122 officials said that they received a call from a man who identified himself as Sanaullah at 10:23am on Sunday stating that a child had fallen into a drain near Ravi Hotel.

Television news channels quickly reported the incident, which prompted District Coordination Officer Noorul Amin Mengal to take notice. His office released a statement saying he had directed the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) to take precautionary measures against such incidents and to take urgent steps to drain the water from the streets after the rains. He also warned of ‘strict action’ against negligent officials.

But when Rescue officials arrived at the scene, it turned out that a calf had fallen into the drain and it had already been pulled out safely. They said that the caller had reported that a ‘wachha’ (calf) had fallen into the drain, which had been mistakenly heard as ‘bacha’ (child).

A spokesman for the DCO said that they had acted on the reports on television. Asked whether they had checked the information before reacting to it, he said they usually took notice of such incidents upon seeing it in the news and questioned the department concerned about it later.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2012.

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