It is not just a radio station; it is a family

By Abhishek Shetty

He was just twenty year old when he met with a near fatal accident that lamed him for life. His name is Prakash. He was an energetic young man. However, due to poor circumstances, he could only afford to be a bus cleaner. Life was not very easy, but he could make ends meet. On that unfortunate day though, the bus in which he was working ran over him when he was doing some maintenance work under it. He was paralysed waist below. Thereafter he was practically bedridden. A bird freely flying in the air lost its freedom.  He was living in a village far away Mangalore,  he had not much contact with his friends and former colleagues.  Prakash slowly slumped into depression.

That is the time an old radio set came to his help. One day as he was tuning into it, he heard the popular local folk art performance known as Yakshagana. In his childhood, he had watched many live Yankshagana performances. And now, when he heard a Yakshagana performance on a radio station, he was thrilled. The only radio station that was daily broadcasting Yakshagana he came to know was the Community Radio Sarang 107. 8 FM.

Though he was primarily a lover of Yakshagana, he began developing a taste for all programmes that were being broadcast on Radio Sarang. It became his dear friend in times of loneliness and distress. In fact, he began calling up the station during phone-in programmes and voiced his opinions on various issues on a daily basis. Many listeners came to know about Prakash and his incapacitating situation. In fact, some listeners even came forward to help him financially. More than anything else, Prakash says that daily one or two listeners of Radio Sarang call him up and asked about his well-being.

This has been the strength of Radio Sarang. It has helped scores of people to build up their self-esteem. There is another young man called Damodar Vorkady. He lost his eyesight at the age of 12. He has been an ardent listener of Radio Sarang. He says that Radio Sarang has given him inner vision and helped him not to lose his zest for life. There are nearly 15 blind people who listen to Radio Sarang throughout the day and find meaning in their life. When Prakash heard about Damodar, his heart went out for Damodar and Damodar forgot his pain when he heard about Prakash.

ವೀಡಿಯೋ: ಪ್ರಕಾಶಣ್ಣ ಅಜ್ಜಿ ಮನೆಗೆ ಹೋದರಂತೆ

Radio Sarang began its broadcasting journey in the year 2009. It broadcasts programmes in four local languages – Kannada, Tulu, Konkani and Beary. Recognising the warm relationship the station has built up with the local community through its unique programmes, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has bestowed two national awards upon Radio Sarang.

While the journey has not always been smooth sailing, the staff and the administration has the satisfaction that it has been able to reach out to scores of people and touch the hearts of many. One sign of this is the over 25 listeners calling up the station during any live phone-in programme. Over 1500 officials have come as resource persons and guests to Radio Sarang to update listeners on various issues that concern common people. Radio Sarang appeals to both the ordinary and the mighty. There are scores of women rolling beedis who listen to Radio Sarang. There are others who do not have electricity in their poor houses and yet have an ordinary set of radio running on dry battery cells which is tuned into Radio Sarang always. There are others who when the station undergoes any technical snags pray to their deity that the radio may come back alive at the earliest. On important feast days like Deepavali, Christmas and Ramzan, there are listeners visiting the station bringing sweets and celebrating happiness. Indeed it is one big family here at Radio Sarang 107.8 FM. #