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Guam’s great, but church wants to bring radio home

- Mundari airwaves from island near Manila works fine, but GEL moderator has a brighter idea

From Guam, a Pacific Ocean island, to Ranchi, a plateau and capital city of Jharkhand, India. That’s quite a leap for a church radio.

But soon, the serene premises of Gossner Evangelical Lutheran (GEL) Church in Ranchi may boast a radio station, sans a garrulous RJ.

For, the church is making efforts to set up a facility that produces and airs radio programmes in tribal tongues Mundari and Kharia from the capital.

So far, goodwill programmes in tribal tongues were made in Ranchi but transmitted from Guam, an island in Pacific Ocean, located some 2,600km from the Philippines capital, Manila.

Moderator of the church Nelson Lakra said he would discuss modalities of setting up the facility at the Ranchi campus when he meets Lutheran Mission partners in Finland later this month.

The Lutherans follow German monk Martin Luther and have their missions all over the globe, Finland being one.

“I am scheduled to visit Finland from March 24 to April 3. I shall consult our partners and seek their help in setting up a radio transmitter and a studio on our GEL campus. With such a facility in place, programmes in multiple languages, including other tribal tongues and Hindi, can be produced and broadcast from Ranchi itself,” he said.

He added that they made tribal programmes in Ranchi but sent them to the transmission site in Guam that aired them on specific days of the week.

“As per arrangement with our Lutheran partners, these programmes, titled Truthful Life, are made by us in Ranchi. However, since Trans World Radio — a Christian media organisation — does not have a station in India, we upload programmes to their transmitter site in Guam,” Lakra said.

He added he had mooted a proposal in 2007 during his visit to Finland to programmes in tribal tongues for the faithful to understand them properly.

“We have a nice studio at Good Books located on Main Road. Once the proposal was approved, we started making the radio programmes here and uploading them to the Trans World Radio transmitter site. At present, programmes in Kharia are aired every Sunday from 7.30pm to 7.45pm, while those in Mundari are broadcast every Tuesday and Wednesday from 7.45pm to 8pm,” he said.

Lakra, however, asserted that the Guam site was broadcasting the programmes seamlessly.

“Over the past seven years, our programmes made at Good Books studio are being aired. There have been no technical glitches,” he said.

Guam, apart, Trans World Radio has transmitting sites at Bonaire in the Caribbean, Swaziland, Cyprus and Sri Lanka. It has a country office at New Delhi, but no radio station in India yet. Will Ranchi be the first?


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