Every afternoon, Chandrabhushan Singh Shashi, 40, teaches Hindi in Hajipur, some 30 km from Patna. But between 6 pm and 8 pm, he wears his other hat, that of partner in Sach Mein, a four-year-old news channel.A teacher at Beerchand Patel Smarak Mahavidyalaya, Shashi floated his channel in 2005, not as a business venture, but to chase his passion for journalism and also to do some philanthropy. In that, Shashi has succeeded. His channel has found numerous missing people, especially those lost during the 25-day annual Sonepur Mela — the world’s largest animal fair — held in these parts in November. Shashi has not kept a record, but he proudly says, "We must have united over 20 families so far by offering free publicity of missing persons on my news channel. We put up a photo of the missing person, with the contact number of the guardian, and run it between our programmes. We get to know if families reunite when guardians call to express gratitude."
Shashi, a lecturer since 1995, launched the channel with the support of seven media associates. His underwriter was Rahul Kumar Pani, who runs a cable network. With a viewership of 10,000-odd in Hajipur, the channel got the required infrastructure — a room, electricity, a computer — from Pani.
Now, Pani is technical head of the channel and Shashi heads the news section, aided by a team of unpaid professionals. They are attached to other media houses. Airtime for district news in big channels is scarce, and I give them that.
They’re happy to work for my channel for free,” says Shashi.
SACH MEIN, Hajipur, Bihar
Wow factor: Reunited 20 missing persons with families