Imphal Review of Arts and Politics

Dept of Environment and Climate Change
Radio, though now overtaken by newer technologies will remain as the one which launched the electronic media revolution in the world,

Celebrating of World Radio Day 2024 with the Theme – Informing, Entertaining and Educating

“Radio is my guide, my guru and my life”. Everywhere, I go I am with a radio set in my pocket, says Laishram Sanatomba Meetei of Chana Mayai Leikai, Lampak Maning of Imphal East district. He narrated that since his childhood days he has the habit of listening to radio daily. He put a small radio set inside his pocket so that he can listens radio programmes all the time whether it be at home, paddy field or anywhere. Mr Sanatomba expressed that he gets many information which is very useful in his agricultural activities. Besides providing information, radio gives entertainment. He listen all the songs, drama, news, discussions, talks etc. being aired on All India Radio and other local community radio. Till now he has never missed any radio programme. He also says that his life will be meaningless without radio, it is his best friend of his life.

Another good radio listener, named Wangkheirakpam Ibemcha Devi, 55yrs, says that since her early childhood she enjoys listening radio dramas and serials. She never feels that she is under matric as her experience of listening to radio provides valuable insights into diverse tapestry of news and current affairs. From global events to local development, radio offers a comprehensive overview of the world around us. She tries to adjust all her timing never to miss any interesting radio drama. She appeals people particularly youths to have the habit of listening radio as it is a medium for getting education and entertainment which will help in them in shaping their future career.

On interacting with Thounaujam Shyamsunder Luwang, Assistant Professor, Department of Commerce, Don Bosco College (Autonomous), Maram, Manipur tells that he listen radio programmes which are live streaming using internet. He commented that radio is one of the most important sources of information in the hilly region of Manipur where there is no accessibility of local newspapers and local TV channels. The radio news is the most credible and reliable news. For him, radio remains his good company for his life. Many programmes being aired by All India Radio helps him updating his knowledge on various areas and gives entertainment with beautiful numbers. Particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic and worse time, it helps him a lot to get the latest update about the situation, he added.

Radio is a low-cost medium specifically suited to reaching remote communities and vulnerable people. It has offered a platform to intervene in the public debate for over a century now and irrespective of people’s educational level. It is generally believed that the first radio transmission was made by Guglielmo Marconi in 1895 and radio broadcasting of music and talk that was aimed towards a wider audience came into existence. On the contrary it is reported that Indian Scientist, Jagadish Chandra Bose was the person who demonstrated the science behind capturing radio waves.

Radio’s enduring relevance lies in its accessibility. Even in today’s digital age, where streaming platforms and social media dominate, radio remains a ubiquitous presence. It transcends socio-economic barriers, reaching remote communities, and marginalized populations with vital information, news and entertainment. Whether through traditional AM/FM broadcasts, community radio or digital streaming, radio continues to be a lifeline for millions around the globe. There are a lot of people in the country who not only trust the radio but also rely on it for the consumption of news and entertainment purposes.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), radio has crossed the 100 year milestone hence, it is a significant occasion to commemorate the medium’s extensive virtues and continuing potency as it faces challenges to its audiences and revenue numbers from digital platforms, social media, digital and generational divides, censorship, consolidations and economic hardships. Almost 60 years later in 2011, Member States proclaimed February 13 as being World Radio Day. It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2013 as an International event.

Every year February 13, the world comes together to celebrate World Radio Day, honouring one of the most powerful and enduring forms of communication. Radio has been a steadfast companion for over a century, connecting people across vast distances and bridging cultural divides. This annual observance serves as a reminder of the crucial role that radio plays in our lives, societies and the global community. According to the United Nations, the objective of World Radio Day is to raise greater awareness among the public and media regarding the importance of radio. The theme for the World Radio Day, 2024 is “Radio: A Century Informing, Entertaining and Educating”. The United Nations states that the 2024 observance highlights the history of radio and its powerful impact on news, drama, music and sports.

Speaking on the occasion of World Radio Day, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Singh Thakur has said that after 2014 the government decided to encourage the community radio stations and provided 7.5 lakh rupees assistance and additional funds for the community radio. Mr. Thakur said that it is encouraging to see the effective functioning of 117 stations in the southern region. He said that it is the voice for the voice-less. He said that in the next three years, the target is to create more than 1000 community radio stations.

On this day every year, various activities are organized by broadcasters, organizations, and communities around the world. As we celebrate World Radio Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to this enduring medium and recognize its power to inform, inspire and unite us. Radio remains to be a beacon of hope, resilience and humanity in an ever-changing world. So, there lies the need to promote communities to take the initiative to establish more community radio stations in their localities for their communities. So, let’s tune in radio and let the voices resonate through airwaves, reminding us of our shared humanity and enduring power of communication.

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