On The Road

Occasional ramblings from a rambling journalist

Radio Ungal Studio

“Not only do I see the potential of radio in disaster mitigation, I can see it has huge potential for community development in India,” says Saji Varghese, a World Vision manager in the emergency response unit, who was a participant of the FIRST Response workshop and trial. Radio Ungal , 98.4FM, the Tamil FM station finally went off air at 3.30pm on Monday afternoon, 30th June, but the shortwave programmes in Hindi, Bangla and English continued until Friday 4th July. 

Nagapttinam interview

Enduring very hot humid weather and working with little sleep, the team successfully got the disaster response radio on air, distributed leaflets and radios in the community, interviewed listeners over the phone and in person. They broadcast throughout the 3-day trial period over FM and short wave. The trial has been a great success. The team have accomplished all of the objectives.


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  • Field trial is on air

    The FIRST Response field trial participants endured a 14-hour bumpy bus ride, equipment glitches and power cuts to arrive in Nagapattinam (Tamil Nadu) at 5am on Saturday morning, a few hours later than scheduled.  They quickly set up their equipment (including attaching the antennae to a drain pipe on the roof).  The FM station was live on air by 6:30am and they received their first telephone call from a listener about 7:15am, quite surprisingly.

    FIRST Response participants arrive in Nagapattinam

    Soon after the station had stabilised, participants went into the field to collect interviews from local people for both the FM and shortwave English, Hindi and Bangla services.  While the FM station is live in Tamil, focussing on disaster preparedness, while working under simulated emergency conditions, the Shortwave teams are focussing on the current flooding in North East India.

    FIRST Response team interview locals

     VIEW VIDEOS by clicking the links below

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  • Filed under: Events