Nerves of steel. Cool under pressure. Ice water in her veins. All of these phrases refer to someone who does not crack under stress. Recently, residents across India heaped those words, and many other praises, on a popular TV anchor. On live television, while reading a breaking news report about a car accident, she realized her husband died in the crash. Amazingly, she finished the report and maintained her composure the whole time.
Supreet Kaur, the reporter at the center of this story, works for India’s IBC24 cable television channel. The 28-year-old has been a lead anchor since she joined the popular Hindi cable station nine years ago. Based in Chhattisgarh state, the network’s viewing audience is over 15 million people. During a recent Saturday morning broadcast, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Suddenly, the station manager spoke into Supreet’s ear, saying they had a breaking news story from a reporter at the scene of a car accident.
Seamlessly transitioning into the breaking event, Kaur, wearing a purple blouse, began providing details. A Renault Duster had crashed in the city of Mahasamund earlier that morning. Five men were in the vehicle when a truck hit it. Three passengers died at the scene. Supreet then turned the story over to the local news reporter for additional details. As the reporter shared information, Kaur asked him follow up questions. They went back and forth for over ten minutes while they discussed the tragic accident. The only sign that the anchor had received terrible news during the report was a momentary pause as she started a sentence.
According to colleagues at IBC24, once the station went to commercial after the breaking news, Supreet ran off the set. She broke down in tears and called the local reporter for more information about the crash. She knew her husband of two years, Harshad Kawade, had been traveling in a Ranault Duster that morning. He had been driving to a meeting with four other men in the city of Mahasamund. When footage of the wreck appeared during the breaking news story, it confirmed Kaur’s worst fears. After this horrifying revelation, she called relatives and rushed to the crash site during the commercial break. A colleague stepped in to finish the rest of the broadcast.
The editor of IBC24 said that everyone at the station supports Kaur during her period of unthinkable grief. She released a statement through the news network thanking the public for its support and vowing to return to the anchor chair at an appropriate time. For years to come, her strange and unenviable situation will highlight her composure and serve as a benchmark of professionalism for news anchors across the world.