Vijayawada

Engaged in relief work, HAMs have a true celebration of the day

A few days back Y.V. Subba Reddy received information on his walkie-talkie that a group of 40-odd migrant labourers from Guntur, desperate to reach home in Visakhapatnam, had started walking homeward despite lockdown restrictions.

Mr. Reddy, a photographer by profession and a HAM (Amateur Radio Operator-VU3DIU) by passion, rushed to them with a few of his friends carrying food packets and water bottles. The outbreak of COVID-19 has spurred Mr. Reddy and his other HAM friends like Rajesh Gupta (VU3GXD) to join the community service in this hour of crisis.

Monitoring

April 18 is International Amateur Radio Day and HAMs in the region are playing an important role in improving lives. In these days of social isolation, radio amateurs have been contacting those who are shut in to check on their welfare and have been maintaining social contacts while remaining physically separate from each other.

HAMs have a long and proud history of providing communications to alleviate suffering in the wake of disasters. With only a low-power HF transceiver, an automobile battery, and a piece of wire for an antenna, a skilled operator can establish communication from almost any location.

Food distribution

In the last 20 days, the group has been hitting the deserted city roads in a mini van equipped with food packets and medicated water (kashayam) for distribution in slum habitations and areas closer to the railway and bus stations. A banner reading “Amateur Radio-HAM Radio, One World, One Language-Members of Vijayawada Center” announces their arrival. Menu has dishes like bisibelabaath (sambar rice), daddojanam, pongal, pulihora, fried rice, vegetable biryani and egg biryani.

“There are hundreds of hungry people waiting for food in areas like Khuddusnagar and along the railway track. As many friends and others are donating money to make this possible, we intend to continue food distribution till the lockdown is lifted,” says Mr. Subba Reddy.

“We generally take to the airwaves to celebrate the day but this time, it will be a true celebration of our expertise by reaching out to the needy,” says Arza Ramesh Babu, director, HAM Radio Academy in the city.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2020 3:16:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/engaged-in-relief-work-hams-have-a-true-celebration-of-the-day/article31370881.ece

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