Aakanksha Marulkar, 19, was travelling in a train last week when she saw two women poring over a newspaper, discussing an article on Valentine’s Day.
The seemingly commonplace event made Marulkar’s day. The story her fellow passengers were praising loudly happened to be written by her.
The second year arts student of St Xavier’s College, Dhobi Talao, is a campus reporter for a Marathi newspaper in the city. She applied to the newspaper after a family trip to Europe, merely wanting to share the story of her trip, but ended up writing for them frequently, on subjects ranging from fashion to college events.
“Writing for a newspaper is an incredible experience. For my articles, I have had the chance to meet all kinds of interesting people, including The Great Khali, which has probably been my favourite interaction so far,” she said, laughing.
Marulkar is among a lucky few college students who have had the pleasure of being published.
Whether it is an aspiring journalist, a law student looking to get some real world experience, most collegians say that seeing their byline in a city paper
gives them the most potent of “highs”.
Devanshi Shah, 19, a student of Government Law College, made herself a great deal more popular among her peers when she managed to get an article about a college event featured in a major city daily.
Shah had done a short internship with the paper, just to try her hand at something new. “After I left the paper, I called and asked them if I could write about an event organised by my college, and to my delight, they agreed,” she said.
Not everyone needs to work with a newspaper to get an article in it, though. In November, a professor at Usha Pravin Gandhi College of Management, Vile Parle, set her BMM students a challenge as part of one of their university projects.
The students were given two months, within which they had to get an article published in a newspaper or magazine. At first, the students reacted to the project with skepticism, not believing that it would be possible to do so.
By the time their deadline came around, nearly every student of the 120-strong class had been published.
“I approached at least six or seven local papers, and kept following up with them till two of them published my article. The project really made me get out, speak to people I had never spoken to before, and push myself — a teaser of what actually being a journalist will be like,” said Juie Shah, 19.
Zinat Aboli, her professor who assigned the project, believes that such an experience goes beyond merely writing an article.
“As young citizens, it is their duty to read newspapers and become active participants in the country’s affairs, and this is one way of doing so,” she said.