Bhakshak: Is Koshish News an Actual News Channel?

Pulkit’s ‘Bhakshak’ is a Hindi Netflix film that follows a criminal storyline about an abusive Children’s Welfare Shelter Home and a small-scale journalist’s grating journey of unveiling its harsh reality. Vaishali Singh, an independent reporter covering small stories in town, comes across a report that details the harrowing abusive and sexually exploitative conditions of Bansi Sahu’s Balika Seva Grih. As a result, despite Sahu’s dangerous connections, Vaishali and her cameraman, Bhaskar Sinha, embark on a mission to bring the man’s crimes to the public and rescue the girls from his control.

In the film, Vaishali’s journalism career, though pocket-sized in viewership, ends up playing a crucial role in serving justice for heinous crimes. For the same reason, Koshish News, the news channel, kept functional only with Vaishali and Bhaskar’s attempts, must have caught the audience’s attention, compelling them to wonder if the storytelling element has any real-life counterparts.

Koshish News Is a Fictional News Channel

No, Koshish News, as presented in ‘Bhakshak,’ is not an actual news channel. Even though viewers may be able to find similarly titled news channels in real life due to the name’s compelling nature, the same will likely only be a coincidence. In charting its tale that harvests significant inspiration from real life, the film never explicitly bases any element after a real-life person or instance.

Furthermore, the real-life Muzaffarpur Shelter Home case, which holds unofficial but noticeable similarities to the film’s premise, never saw involvement from a small-scale journalist. As a result, Vaishali’s character and career seem to be rooted in fictionality, without any tangible, real-life counterparts behind them. Instead, the film’s journalism storyline remains a means to highlight the importance of public attention in such crimes and finds a general inspiration from the role the media plays in similar criminal cases.

Thus, Koshish News remains a storytelling tool equipped by the film in service of its plot. However, the channel’s name itself still holds a reference to the infamous Muzaffarpur Shelter Home case— whether intentionally or not. A group of researchers within the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, dubbed “The Koshish Project,” played a significant role in the real-life unveiling of Brajesh Thakur and his accomplices’ crimes through their audit report.

After the 2018 arrests of Brajesh Thakur and his accomplices for the crimes of rape and sexual violence against young girls and children, the Koshish Project remained a part of the latter’s rehabilitation journey. The group reportedly conducted a 2019 report to evaluate the survivors’ and their families’ situations through interactions spanning multiple weeks.

As such, it’s possible that Vaishali’s News Channel, instrumental within the film’s plot, was titled as such to pay homage to the Koshish Project that— in many ways— helmed the rescue of real-life victims from Thakur’s case. Nevertheless, Koshish News remains a work of fiction as it stands within the film as a News Channel.

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