A Catholic Church-run college in Darjeeling, India, has become the first to launch a full-fledged web radio with 20 different programmes in Nepali language. It is also the first Community/Campus Radio in West Bengal and entire northeast India to be run by a college. Salesian College Sonada, established by the Salesians of Don Bosco in 1938, launched its web radio on Friday, 28th October, 2016. Member of Legislative Assembly from Darjeeling Prof Amar Singh Rai was the chief guest.
“It is our Diwali gift to Nepali people worldwide,” said college Principal, Salesian priest Dr. George Thadathil, speaking of the possibility on-demand radio provides for people everywhere to access programme of their choice at their own convenience. “Our Community Radio will serve geographic and ethnic communities of the region with broadcast content that is popular, relevant and often overlooked by commercial or mass-media broadcasters,” Dr Thadathil added.
After congratulating the Principal for having the vision to bring the first community radio to the hills, MLA and former Darjeeling Municipal Chairman Prof Rai encouraged radio hosts or radio jockeys (RJs) and students “to raise local issues not only to create awareness but also to educate and enlighten.”
“There is lot to be done,” Prof Rai said listing some of the urgent needs, “people are not aware and conscious enough about drinking water, solid and liquid waste management, harmful effects of plastic usage, and the issues allaying the tea industry.” Commenting on the launch of the web radio Prof Rai said, “it is a small step for Salesian College but a giant step for [hills] community.”
Radio Salesian 90.8 FM is a nonprofit venture, which provides a mechanism enabling individuals, groups, and communities to tell their own stories, to share experiences and, in a media-rich world, to become creators and contributors of media. The web radio may be accessed on computer or mobile phone by clicking on Community Radio at www.salesiancollege.in.
A team of six RJs host some 20 shows a week, seven days a week and daily 12 hours under RJ Samir of Radio Misty fame along with other RJs Soroj, Savitri, Rohit, Sumina and Bryan. Program duration differs from one, two and three hours and are scheduled as daily, bi-weekly and weekly shows.
The regular broadcast transmission of Radio Salesian 90.8 FM channel is scheduled for 8 h December 2016. It can be heard in parts of Darjeeling, Siliguri, as well as Kurseong, Mirik, Sonada, Pashupati (Nepal), Sukiapukuri, Balsun Valley and several other places.