Radio has been an integral part of everyone’s life, especially elderly people. It is believed to be one of the most effective channels of communication as both literate and illiterate people are able to absorb information spread through this medium.
Although several technologies have emerged due to which the amount of radio listeners has somewhat decreased however, the people who travel in their personal cars or cabs prefer to turn on radio in their vehicles on a rainy day and listen to RJs narrating beautiful stories, playing latest and few evergreen songs, delivering information on the weather conditions, doing interviews of famous personalities and many more.
Radio has the capacity to make us visualize situations by just listening to the RJs.
Earlier in remote villages in India, farmers, and fishermen among others used to access information on weather reports, new ways of farming techniques and many more through radio.
Radio is the only communication channel through which both literate and illiterate people can access information. The illiterate people do not have difficulty learning the alphabet as they absorb the information by listening. It is also the cheapest device easily accessible by poor people.
When I was teenager, after studying for hours, I would borrow my father’s phone, put on headphones and turn on to RJ Pahi’s love story every Friday on 93.5 Red FM and listen to her narrating a story. Her voice used to be so soothing and the power she had to make us visualize the incidents happening during that story was mesmerizing.
Similarly, almost all radio listeners are big fans of Neelesh Misra. He narrates stories on the daily life of the common man which deeply touches his listeners. He too had the capability to make his listeners visualize the situations, and characters, among other stuffs happening in the story.
It is said that radios have vanished from Indian households and markets as it rarely played. In my opinion, it is not true as people still listen to the radio. The number of listeners might have reduced compared to earlier times, however, many people unknowingly sometimes listen to the radio while traveling.
It cannot be considered that advanced technologies and devices have replaced one of the most effective and oldest mediums of communication.
In the year 2011, the Member States of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization proclaimed February 13 as World Radio Day which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012.
It is celebrated to preserve the timeless medium and to create awareness of the importance of radio.
This year’s theme for the occasion is ‘Radio and Peace’. UNESCO highlights independent radio as a pillar of conflict prevention and peacebuilding.
It believes that increasing radio’s journalistic standards and capacity should be considered an investment in peace.
On this occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the radio listeners, RJs and all other associated with the broadcasting eco-system on the special occasion.