Broadcast veteran introduces podcast to senior citizens

Community radio practitioner R. Sreedher reviewing one of the podcast episodes for senior citizens at his retirement home in Madhampatty near Coimbatore on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: SIVA SARAVANAN S

With an experience of five decades in radio and television and having been closely associated with the community radio movement since its inception in India, R. Sreedher is a veteran in broadcasting. A resident of a retirement home near Coimbatore, he recently started a podcast by and for the senior citizens.

Mr. Sreedher, then the Head of the Department of Media Sciences at Anna University in Chennai, was instrumental in setting up the Anna Community Radio in 2004, which is regarded as the first community radio in India. Having lived in New Delhi, he said that he moved to Tapovan Senior Citizen’s Foundation in Madhampatty about five months ago

“Senior citizens are a community themselves,” he told The Hindu on Tuesday. With podcasts now burgeoning across country, the 74-year-old Mr. Sreedher decided earlier this year to set up a podcast for those residing in the retirement home and named it ‘Tapovani’ after the retirement home.

He uploaded the first podcast episode on the audio streaming platform I-Radio on March 13 featuring a violin performance of a senior citizen V. Sridhar. As of April 18, there were 47 different episodes uploaded that featured performances of devotional songs, storytelling and interviews, all by the residents of Tapovan. Around 15 members are involved in recording, editing and uploading these podcasts on a voluntary basis, Mr. Sreedher noted. Apart from I-Radio, the podcasts are also available at platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music. “Making them (senior citizens) tech-savvy is our success,” he remarked, when asked whether the senior citizens faced difficulties in coming to grips with the technology of podcasting. Mr. Sreedher added that he is planning to feature residents of the villages close to the retirement home to broadcast their music and their issues.

According to P.G. Sampathkumar, a resident of Tapovan, who assists Mr. Sreedher in uploading the podcasts, the response from the residents has been positive. “When we began this project, we were not sure whether there would be any interest,” he said. Having worked in the information technology sector for nearly three decades, Mr. Sampathkumar said that he does not find any difficulties in adapting to the technologies available at present.

M.N. Varadarajan, chairman of Tapovan Senior Citizen’s Foundation, commended this initiative. “He has given the senior citizens an opportunity to express themselves,” he said.

Every retirement home could set up a podcast at a low cost to showcase the talent of the senior citizens there, Mr. Sreedher suggested. “They have some energy left. They have some creativity also. Let them use their creativity well,” he signed off.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 10:58:28 AM |

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