15-year-old helps save the day

Uses his Ham radio skills to gather vital information during Hudhud. One contact talked about trees falling at a Jain temple in Bhimli and resulting in precarious conditions. The young Ham immediately passed on the information to senior officials, who in turn directed their field personnel.

Updated - November 16, 2021 07:14 pm IST

Published - October 26, 2014 11:26 pm IST - HYDERABAD:

Executive Vice-chairman and Director of National Institute of Amateur Radio S. Ram Mohan and Tom K Jose of Hyderabad who played an active role in the relief works of the recent Hudhud Cyclone. Photo: Nagara Gopal

Executive Vice-chairman and Director of National Institute of Amateur Radio S. Ram Mohan and Tom K Jose of Hyderabad who played an active role in the relief works of the recent Hudhud Cyclone. Photo: Nagara Gopal

For a week, Tom K. Jose kept his studies aside, travelled to a cyclone-hit city and used his Ham radio skills to contribute to disaster management.

When Hudhud swept through Visakhapatnam disrupting its communication network and a team of amateur radio (Ham) operators from the city were sought, the 15-year-old student of Little Flower Junior College, Uppal, volunteered for the task.

With his call sign, VU3TMO, Tom was stationed in the control room set up at Visakhapatnam Police Commissionerate and spent long hours collecting messages from other team members spread over the cyclone affected areas and passed them on to the administration for relief measures.

The intermediate first year student, who got his Ham licence at the age of 13, along with colleagues, operated under adverse conditions, often skipping meals and spending long hours before the radio, waiting for it to crackle with messages. “For seven days, I was at the Visakhapatnam Police Commissionerate and one day at the District Collector’s office at Srikakulam and made anywhere up to 500 contacts,” says Tom.

One contact talked about trees falling at a Jain temple in Bhimli and resulting in precarious conditions. The young Ham immediately passed on the information to senior officials, who in turn directed their field personnel, and the situation was attended to. Another was a contact from Bangalore who was desperately trying to locate his brother and sister in the Hudhud affected area. “We operated without checking the watch or caring whether it was day or night. We had to just sit in front of the radio and wait for a contact,” he says.

Tom, who got his licence when he was in class 9, explores the Ham world and so far, has contacted more than 150 countries and received appreciations for his operational skills from Ham associations from different parts of the globe, including US, Germany and Japan. He comfortably juggles his hobby with studies and says, “Each night after studies I spend 30 minutes to 45 minutes with the radio apart from a brief tryst in the morning before going to college.”

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.