Radio is a powerful low-cost medium of communication that can easily reach even remote regions. It also plays an important role in emergency communication and facilitating disaster relief distribution. To make people aware about the importance of radio, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to observe February 13, the day United Nations Radio was established in 1946, as World Radio Day. On this occasion, Orissa POST caught up with some radio lovers to know the role it plays in their lives.
On his addiction to radio listening, Bhubaneswar-based banker Debabrata Jena says, “Except when I am at work, I always listen to the radio. For me, radio is livelier than television. I don’t have a TV set in my room as I fail to connect with it the way I do with my radio. It connects me to life.”
Elaborating on his attachment to radio, Debabrata continues: “I have been listening to the radio since my childhood. During my school days, my siblings and I used to enjoy Geeta Gitika, a song-based programme relayed from All India Radio (AIR) Cuttack. For us, the legendary Akshay Mohanty was the ultimate singer. I still remember the famous play Rubira Rubai broadcast during drama week in the night. This apart, I miss Binaca Geetmala, a weekly countdown show of Hindi film songs, hosted by Ameen Sayani on AIR’s Vividh Bharati. The introductory music of Yuvavani in AIR Cuttack would enchant the listeners. Since then I have been in love with radio programmes.”
Though radio programmes have come a long way since their inception, Debabrata prefers AIR Cuttack and Vividh Bharati to FM. He, however, observes some changes in the presentation style of the announcers across all formats. Earlier, the announcers used to provide details about the singers, musicians and lyricists before or after broadcast of the songs which is not done these days, he says.
Radio Jockey Gudi says she has worked in various mediums like television and films and dubbed for visuals. But the satisfaction she has got as an RJ is unmatched. Even though people cannot see her when she speaks from her studio, she can connect to thousands of people who listen to her.
“I don’t agree with those who say television or Internet has diminished radio listenership. We cannot carry a TV while travelling but we can listen to a radio to get information. Radio is not only the most dependable device for updates during natural calamities, people in remote regions of the country still rely on it to get regular weather information. Of course, the present Prime Minister has picked radio as the medium to reach millions of people.”
She considers working as an RJ a blessing, for people recognise her voice even though they have never met her.
Bapi Behera who works with a shooting unit and travels a lot says, “Radio, for me, has been the only form of entertainment during my travels. I have seen my father enjoying ‘Nataks’ and ‘Bhajans’ on radio when I was kid. Since then I have also developed the habit of listening to film songs.”
Recalling how he once benefited from his radio listening habit, Bapi says he was on the way from Bhubaneswar to a shooting location in Cuttack. He was unaware that the log for carving the idol of Lord Jagannath of Puri Srimandir was on the same route at that time and the entire route was chock-a-block with a sea of people. Fortunately, he had the habit of listening to FM and he got to know about the situation in time. He managed to take a different route and reach the location well in time, Bapi said.
BIJAY MANDAL. OP