Kodinji twin wonder turns money-spinner

Foreign and national media were told to pay to facilitate smooth coverage

Kodinji twin wonder turns money-spinner

Some self-professed “stakeholders” seem to have realised that the “twin wonder” is an exotic stuff to be sold to the print or electronic media like hot cakes.

Several foreign and national news agencies and TV channels which descended on the village to cover the story or film a documentary were asked to pay up thousands if not lakhs of rupees to facilitate a smooth coverage.
Two years ago, Kodinji shot to prominence when reports highlighted the unusually large twin population in the village.
According to P Bhaskaran, president of the Twins and Kins Association (TAKA), he himself had then identified 204 pairs of twins.
“Now the number has gone to about 300 after several other twins from our village living outside also reported their status,” he told Deccan Herald. The international media including CNN picked up the story giving it not just attention but credibility too.

With the media descending on the village in hordes, the so-called “stakeholders” transformed themselves into overnight facilitators for the media. According to sources, TAKA’s initial demands were a few thousand rupees after it was found that transporting the twins for photograph did incur expenses.

A couple of foreign media teams including a French TV channel paid a few thousand rupees as tips to the people who showed them around. Soon, vested interests seized the occasion and began to independently demand money leading to accusations from relatives of the twin families against TAKA authorities.
The BBC crew which was reportedly asked to pay up did not return to film the story. Local journalists said reporters of Marie Claire magazine were asked to shell out Rs 10,000 for organising some children for a photograph. The bargaining picked up steam after rumours began to float about the Rs 25 lakh that was likely to reach the twins from a Gulf-based media organisation.
Bhaskaran while denying the allegations initially admitted that an estimate of Rs 10 lakh was given to the National Geographic team which is presently filming a documentary on the subject.

The expenses were mainly for organising a one-day medical camp for the twins. However, when the team expressed inability to pay the amount it has been brought down to about Rs 2 lakh. When contacted, local MLA Abdurahiman Randathani played down the incidents saying that only actual expenses were being collected now.
DH News Service

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