Jyotirgamaya, Panjab University’s community radio, reaches out to villagers in the vicinity

The buzzword at Jyotirgamaya: 91.2 MHz Community Radio Station run by students of the School of Communication Studies (SCS) on the Panjab University (PU) campus for over a year now, is to basically highlight the talent and achievements of local people including students residing in nearby villages.

Jyotirgamaya, inaugurated in February last year, has progressed from a 30-minute broadcast to four broadcasts consisting of nine programmes running for 10 hours daily. People living within a range of 10 kilometres can tune in and the number of listeners are gradually going up.

 “The emphasis is on imparting knowledge and information related to education, health, environment, social, cultural and local issues and announcements specific to the community in accordance with the motto ‘Padho aur Padhaao’ (Learn and Teach),” says  Archana R. Singh, Associate Professor and Chairperson, SCS.

According to Professor Sanjay Wadwalkar and Associate Professor Jayanth N. Pethkar, who play an advisory role, the unique selling point is that students of PU and its affiliated colleges basically decide the content. Moreover, residents of villages located in the vicinity of the campus and the adjoining Postgraduate Institute of Medical Science and Research also participate in this endeavour.

“The programmes basically cater to the social, environment, developmental and educational needs of the community. Special features on health, patriotism, consumer education and sports are also aired,” Deepali Pandit, a final year student of SCS and a budding radio jockey said. 

“The target audience has appreciated the focus on folk music, student talent shows, Question and Answers with the community, interviews with prominent personalities including university officials who give information about the University’s programmes and facilities and interaction with doctors, health care workers and members of civil society organisations,’’ says Varun Chadha, a student who recently passed out.

 “We are enthused that Jyotirgamaya has been able to create awareness in the target community regarding crucial social issues. Our programmes for adult and continuing education and for technology awareness have been well received,” chips in Priyanka Bisht, a student. 

Recently, it undertook 72 hours marathon programming on New Year’s eve for awareness generation and community involvement focused on ‘a critical view of the life of a common man who is striving for having a better tomorrow --Achha - Behtar -Behtareen (good-better-best).’ 

 The fledgling community radio station, which is currently functioning on the budget provided by PU, hopes to become financially self-sustaining in the near future though at present it does not air advertisements or sponsored programmes.

As part of social service, Jyotirgamaya has started using its studios for the creation of audio study books for blind students free of cost as a voluntary effort by other students.  

Recently, the radio station launched in collaboration with Yuvsatta, a hunt for ‘Chhota RJ’ amongst the kids (mostly belonging to under-privileged sections) from the Bapu Dham Colony who would be groomed and trained by SCS students. 

Jyotirgamaya is now on Facebook too where listeners post their comments and share their insights.