Chennai journalist Pradeep Kumar, a film reporter with The Hindu MetroPlus, passed away on May 23 due to COVID-19 related complications. The 28-year-old reporter had tested positive for the coronavirus, along with his 61-year-old mother on May 10.
Even while being treated at a COVID-19 Care Centre in Chennai, Pradeep did what he did best and reported the poor condition in which the centre was being maintained. In an interview with TNM, Pradeep shared his ordeal of spending time at the COVID Care Centre with dirty bathrooms, its poor facilities and unhygienic food.
Following Pradeep’s social media post, Meghanath Reddy, Deputy Commissioner of the Chennai Corporation, took action to rectify the issue at the centre and later shared pictures of the cleaned centre. Pradeep, however, left the centre two days later, fearing for the safety of his and his mother’s health. Pradeep had highlighted the need for good COVID care and treatment in the state and noted, “The essence of COVID-19 care and recovery is to at least provide the patient with a hospitable and hygienic environment. We see pictures of COVID care centres in Kerala. We are not expecting those standards, but at least don't make patients regret every second of their recovery.”
In an obituary shared by Hindu’s MetroPlus team, they remembered Pradeep as a writer whose writing was “fresh, thoughtful and sensitive.” “Every time he came up with an interesting one, everyone in the department could tell because his eyes would come alive as he swivelled energetically in his chair to discuss it. He shared a warm relationship with fellow journalists as well as the people he interviewed,” they wrote.
Pradeep who had previously worked with The New Indian Express covering news, was also an avid biker.
Several other journalists and friends of Pradeep too shared their disbelief over his sudden demise and shared some of their memories of him.
I lost a dear friend @pkayy92 last night to Covid. He was fun, righteous, idealistic & fearless which drove his journalism. The last message he sent me was that he was waiting for an ambulance to take him to KMC.I believed he’d make it. He was shy of 30. It wasn’t his time to go. pic.twitter.com/k1W2FNSWMn— Divya Chandrababu (@bydivyac) May 24, 2021
Gone too soon, @pkayy92 This was a boy I admired for the way he structured his questions and the research he put in before an interview. The tears are still wet, but here's how I'd like my timeline to remember him. Here are three of his really well-done interviews.— Subha Jayanagaraja (@subhajrao) May 24, 2021
We lost a colleague last night to Covid. Pradeep Kumar, 28, was a features writer with Metro Plus. He loved movies. He loved writing about them. It's hard to process that we would never meet him again. I shudder to think about the grief of his family.— Stanly Johny (@johnstanly) May 24, 2021
Rest in peace, Pradeep.
Another journalist lost his battle to #COVID19. This time it was Pradeep Kumar (28) from the Hindu. Never interacted with him. But in a city like Chennai, you know who's who even if you hadn't spoke to them. Last week We lost Sumit Josh, my batchmate from ACJ.— Swathi Moorthy (@kpswathi) May 24, 2021
Our dear Friend & young journalist PradeepKumar (29) passed away last night. He's been with @TheHinduCinema— RIAZ K AHMED (@RIAZtheboss) May 24, 2021
He was admitted in KMC for the last week or so after testing Covid-19 positive, and subsequently passed on due to multiple health complications
May his soul rest in peace pic.twitter.com/rPDJlbUhUU