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Radio for rural folk on air

Ranchi, March 3: As Pushpa Porwal of the World Development Foundation, New Delhi, increased the volume on the mixer console and said “namaste”, Ranchi’s fifth FM station came to life.

Radio Birsa Hariyali on the 107.8 FM bandwidth went on air at 4.20pm today with a brief inaugural message from Governor Syed Sibtey Razi.

Sponsored by the Birsa Agriculture University, Ranchi (BAU), this is the capital’s fifth radio station after the All India Radio (AIR) and three private broadcasters — Big 92.7, Radio Dhamaal and Radio Tarang.

Funding for the prestigious project, the first-of-its-kind to be operated from a university campus in Jharkhand, came from the union information and broadcasting ministry while World Development Foundation, New Delhi, came up with the necessary expertise.

The foundation is also organising a month-long RJ training programme at BAU that is being attended by 16 youngsters from all over the state. The coverage area would be around 25km, nearly the same as AIR, Ranchi.

BAU director (extension education), R.P. Singh, told The Telegraph that unlike other stations Radio Birsa would not be a commercial venture, as its target audience would comprise rural people, farmers and their wives.

Initially, the broadcast would be limited to two hours in the morning and again for two hours in the evening. The timings would be gradually increased.

Radio Birsa would play a positive role in enhancing the agriculture development of Jharkhand, Razi said in his inaugural broadcast at BAU.

The governor pointed out that apart from various farm-oriented programmes, Radio Birsa would also have direct question-answer sessions during which experts would address their problems.

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