Making waves during the lockdown

On the ball: The radio jockeys of Rainbow FM 101-9 Telugu have endeared themselves to listeners, working for almost 18 hours during the crisis.

HYDERABAD, May 24, 2020
By Ravi Reddy

AIR’s Rainbow FM runs interactive and informative programmes on COVID, revives interest in plays

On a sunny Sunday in March when the All India Radio’s Rainbow FM executives were relaxing after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme, a call on the landline number from a desperate guest worker seeking help from lockdown starvation moved the staff.

Immediate intervention through the higher ups with the collaboration of the police department ensured that the needy guest workers were provided with required assistance in no time. For the past 60 days, the radio jockeys of Rainbow FM 101-9 Telugu have endeared themselves to listeners working for almost 18 hours during the crisis.

Daily news bulletins

As the public broadcaster, Rainbow FM departed from its regular programmes to relay news bulletin every day. “The pandemic had changed our functioning. We had to rejig our services, and ensure total health protocol like social distancing, wearing masks, gloves and using sanitisers. The attempt was to provide informative programmes that created awareness on COVID-19,” says Kameswari, Programme Executive of Rainbow FM, Hyderabad.

“During this pandemic, Rainbow FM ensured that important messages from the government is dissipated properly to the target audience in a simple and straight manner,” Ms Kameswari pointed out. The Rainbow FM team gives all credit to their Deputy Director General (Programmes) Sailaja Suman for the innovative concept introduced from time to time.

Ms. Sailaja Suman told The Hindu that the programmes during the lockdown period were made more interactive and innovative.

Crucial messages

Utmost care was taken by the broadcaster to air messages from top dignitaries and it also roped in experts from the medical and health sector and saw to it that motivation bytes from popular personalities also found a place in their programmes. “Participation of the layman on call to articulate his/her views gave a sense of responsibility to the individual,” Ms Kameswari noted.

Ms. Kameswari said Rainbow Telugu’s show, including the popular SINGIDI, aired live from 12 noon to 3 p.m. every day from Adilabad, Kothagudem, Nizamabad and Warangal FM stations were a hit. “We not only received calls from Telangana but neighbouring Andhra Pradesh too, and surprising a couple more even from abroad,” she remarked.

Social media

Lockdown also gave an opportunity to AIR to revive people’s interest in plays. In tune with Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati’s observation, it was decided to bring some of the best works into the public domain. AIR’s interview treasures and iconic plays of Hyderabad station of All India Radio were posted on YouTube.

AIR Hyderabad’s programmes are centralised on its official YouTube channel, ‘AIRHyderabad’ where they are categorised into 10 different sections. There is good traction for @AirHyderabad on Twitter, and its Facebook page Akashavani Hyderabad gets good views.

© May 24, 2020

This material remains © THG Publishing PVT LTD. and is only to be used for non-commercial personal or research use. Any other use requires permission of the copyright holder.

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