Community radio helps them beat boredom


Content available in five languages from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Nalini Kotekar, a resident of village Kotekar, 18 km from Mangalore, rolls beedis for a living. To break the drudgery of her work, she listens to the radio but not broadcast from the advertisement-packed radio stations relaying popular cine songs.

She becomes nostalgic as speakers discuss issues of yesteryear in “Tulu Chavadi”, a programme beamed by Sarang, a radio station housed in St. Aloysius College in Mangalore City. The programme invites personalities to speak on issues of bygone days. She also enjoys the songs on request that the station plays. She said, “The station is full of games and comedy.”

Bantwal resident Prakash Pangalpady, said he tunes in to the station as it has no advertisements, and has very few mainstream cinema songs, and more content on the district’s culture.

He said, “They play Janapada and Bhaavageethe, which I like very much.” Besides, he feels close to the station because the anchors ask him to write in about his troubles and joys.

Abhishek J. Shetty, Thimappa Kadaba, Edward Lobo and Roshan Crasta, the four programme producers, generate content in the studio and from the field.

Mr. Shetty said “Sarang” broadcasts everyday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. content in five languages — Tulu, Konkani, Beary, Kannada and English. Yakshagana programmes feature daily.

The content is on agriculture, health, education, the region’s music, dance, folklore and information on issues such as HIV and programmes like “Aadvaata Aata” on the district’s culture. Listeners communicate with corporators, artists, singers and musicians invited to the station, he said. “Politicians are afraid to come here.”

The station has a repository of Tulu songs that exceeds 1,000 and Konkani compositions of Wilfy Rebimbus, Melwyn Peris, Eric Ozario and Ronny Crasta. Yakshagana is played 365 days a year.

Listeners recognise the programme producers by their voice. When malaria kept away one anchor from the station, some listeners called in to say they were praying for his fast recovery.

Vishal Nayak, Head of the Department (HOD), Mass Communication, St. Aloysius College, said the four-year-old station, founded by former HOD Richard Rego, has content that combines information and entertainment, which speaks to people in rural areas. He said: “It is popular because it connects with people.”

Among the listeners are members of the district’s tailors association, self help groups (SHGs) and fisherwomen. There are no advertisements as in commercial stations.

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