April 30, 2008
Udupi, Apr 30: If everything works out as planned by the Manipal University, the coastal region including the Dakshina Kannada and Udupi district will get its first community radio station very soon.
Radio listeners in the radius of five to ten kilometers from Manipal can then tune in to 90.4 MHZ frequency and listen to programmes which will be of immediate relevance to their society. The community radio station will be established at Manipal Institute of Communication (MIC) and the area which will come under its transmission coverage includes Udupi, Herga, Hiriyadka, Atrady, Alevooru, Katpady, Malpe and others.
'On Air studio is being constructed and we have got the transmitters and other necessary equipment. We hope by the end of May or beginning of June the station will start functioning,' informs K Shyam Bhat, a guest lecturer in MIC and the coordinator of the community radio station. He was working in AIR from 1980 to 2007 at different places of the region including Hassan, Mangalore, Madikeri and others as programme producer and executive.
'Initially the programmes will be broadcast in the evening from 6 to 9 but in future depending upon its popularity it may be stretched to morning also. The first two hours will be dedicated to the local rural communities while the duration between 8 and 9 pm will be for the students. Programmes will be broadcast in different languages including Konkani, Tulu, English and Hindi but maximum importance will be given to Kannada,' Bhat added further.
Programmes will highlight mainly issues related to social and environment problems and economic activities. Besides, the station will also broadcast programmes for promotion of folk, yakshagana and other forms of art. This will also provide a platform for the upcoming artistes and talents of this coastal region. Schedules of programmes like Arogya Bhagya (health care programme), Vikasa (programme on developments), Vihara (programme on places of tourism importance), Krishi Loka (programme for farmers), Dikku Dese (programme for students), Kadalathadi (programme for fishermen) and many others have already been decided.
'Journalism and communication students of MIC are also going to benefit from this venture. Their talent will be utilised in the designing, planning and production processes. This will be like a great experience for them that will help in their future, though our first priority will be to get more and more local people involved with community radio,' said Buroshiva Das Gupta, director, MIC.
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