Do abandoned chicks of a pigeon make a good story?
R. Anusha asked, innocently.
Tell us the story, I coaxed her.
There were at least 20 school students in the room.
And they listened to Anusha, a student of Padma Seshadri, K. K. Nagar.
Of how the pigeons used to nest in the house of her friend's neighbour. They didn't like the idea of a bigger pigeon family and so the young ones were dropped off some where.
And Anusha's friend picked them and raised them.
Any good news story is good for a community newspaper.
And this is what we encourage senior students to report for the month of November. A time of the year when we guide the enterprising and the talented to go out into their colonies and report for their local newspapers.
Anusha and 20 other students were at our meeting held at the Arcot Road Times office.
Last weekend, 20 others from the neighbourhoods of Adyar and Mylapore met up with us. They braved the rains and the cyclonic weather for this second editorial meeting. And the kids came up with a few good story ideas.
One of them is on the enterprise of three young boys who run an e-newsletter on science.
Another is on a person who has holiday tours designed specifically for senior citizens.
A third is on how an old graveyard is polluting the colony which is now full of apartments.
I wish some had volunteered to take a ride with Adyar's night patrol policemen and get a taste of the job and perhaps have a brush with some adventure!
Some years ago, one student reporter managed to hop into a fire engine which was setting off on a SOS call and went on to file an on-the-spot report.
All the three newspapers - Adyar Times, Mylapore Times and Arcot Road Times - will feature reports filed by these students which deserve publication.
I am sure these kids will enjoy the exercise through this month.
Sadly, many parents think such experiences are a waste of time!