Smt. Sadhna Bhatt: A.I.R. is All About “Bahujan Hitaya, Bahujan Sukhaya”

Posted: June 18, 2011 in Interview, The NamoLeague Times
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Radio: Today and Tomorrow.

If I talk about today’s radio, it has a lot of possibilities. Radio is a modern tool for communication and at the same time it is extremely popular with the young generation. Youth has got busier these days and they have no time for the visual medium. They tune into the audio medium for faster information. Gujarat is an advanced state in terms of industries. Also there are a lot of people coming here for work; there are a lot of avenues too. And radio is a tool for the betterment of the people. So radio definitely has a brighter and wider scope, especially with reference to Gujarat.

How has Radio as a medium grown over the years?

Since last 75 years, we have conceived All India Radio. In the ancient times, i.e. in 1936, Radio had a different concept. The Maharajas of Mysore, Hyderabad, Vadodara and other places had their own Radio Transmitters. But now radio is a medium that is in the hands of the Common Man, it is a relation of give and take and a participatory medium. The listener has the option to interact and listen through even his/her mobile phones.

Journalism is rapidly being replaced by the online media. Do you think that anytime in recent future, online radio will gain more popularity?

Listeners already have the options of listening to the Radio through their mobile phones and the internet. They can listen as well as download the news through just a click. The programs too can be listened through Airnet. Also, when it comes to participation, you need to be one on one with the listeners, you need to build interaction and through this online medium, your listeners are not away, they can be with you.

Do you think Journalism and Radio are interlinked?

Infact radio is a part of journalism; we can say its audio journalism. Basically, journalism is divided into print, audio and video formats. So we can always say that radio is all about audio journalism. It covers everything that any other medium does.

What is your take on Commercialization of Radio for Entertainment?

Commercialization to some extent is good. Sometimes it becomes necessary for survival. But it should not be undertaken in a way that the basic motive of radio is marred. Also, commercialization has got certain specific norms all over the world. If one crosses those norms and is overdosing, then the very content of the program or entertainment is being murdered. So if these limits are followed then commercials are good for the awareness of the common man.

Do you think Privatization of Radio has adversely affected the popularity of A.I.R.?

In the beginning, privatization was taken as a challenge. Gradually we learnt to survive this competition in the audio world. However, A.I.R. has some positive points due to which it is much above the other private channels.

  • It is a Public Broadcaster. So it is MASS oriented and not CLASS oriented
  • It covers 99% of the population of India and 98% of the area, which is the widest reach in the entire world
  • A.I.R. broadcasts in 29 languages, 46 dialects and 12-16 foreign languages

Thus we have an edge over the others due to all these strengths.

How is A.I.R. playing its role in the development of the State?

It definitely won’t be any exaggeration to say that whatever has happened in the country by means of awareness, education has been through A.I.R. Be it agriculture, green revolution, science or any other field – A.I.R. has been the first promoter. It has helped people to know various things and this way it has moved on. Any undertaking is not possible without people’s support and any one person cannot do anything.

How has A.I.R. met people’s expectations? 

This question reminds of a meeting soon after the 2001 Gujarat earthquake. All the officers present at the meeting decided that small TV sets should be provided to the rural areas as a part of disaster management. It was then that I put forward a request that instead of TV sets, transistors should prove a better option. TV sets require electricity which is often cut off in the aftermath of any disaster. Whereas radio is cheap, is easily accessible and does not require literacy unlike newspapers. So the point is even during any disasters, A.I.R. has stood the test of time and been the only source of communication for the people. Government messages, warnings and suggestions are broadcasted through this medium in times of emergencies.

Message from your desk for ‘The Namoleague Times’.

I wish that this e-paper becomes the most powerful and truthful voice for the common man. Truth includes journalism as well. It is above everything; it will surpass all and ultimately lead to victory of the common man. I wish Namoleague Times all the very best.
(From the interview with Smt. Sadhna Bhatt, Dy. Director, Regional Training Institute, A.I.R. Ahmedabad)

Read original article at: http://epaper.namoleague.com/EpaperArticle.aspx?title=Smt.%20Sadhna%20Bhatt:%20A.I.R.%20is%20All%20About%20%E2%80%9CBahujan%20Hitaya,%20Bahujan%20Sukhaya%E2%80%9D_22

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