Agartala: In a first, 27-year-old Saidingliana Sailo from Tripura has come out with the state’s first community radio station to raise awareness among the residents of Behliangchhip village, around 200 Km away from state capital Agartala, on COVID-19.
The community radio started just four days ago has already gained an audience of over a thousand listeners across all age groups.
Speaking with EastMojo, Sailo said that the idea of starting the community radio came after a middle-aged man from his village tested positive for coronavirus and villagers became worried about the situation.
“The news of the man named — Issac — testing positive came, everyone all of a sudden was anxious and restrictions were imposed on public movement. That was the time when the idea of starting a community radio first came into my mind so that awareness can be done through the use of local language,” Saidingliana said.
Saidingliana, who holds three post-graduate degrees in English, Sociology and Political science from the Tripura University and Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), is curre preparing for the civil services.
“I did not have any equipment to start a radio, so initially the radio was started using YouTube platform by inviting my friends using zamzo.org and started a series of programs for two hours every day in the local Mizo language. Over the past four days the channel has recorded 1200 listeners,” Sailo added.
The radio station called Behliangchhip Radio has programmes including ‘Hla Thlan’ where audiences can request songs and dedicate it to someone, ‘Biahthu’, which is a compilation of recordings of villagers’ messages narrating how they are spending time during lockdown.
It also includes ‘Speech’ an awareness programme on mental and physical health, ‘Discussion’ which involves interaction on selected topics through conference calls and ‘Special Talk’ where invitees join their message for the villagers”, Sailo told EastMojo.
He also said that currently the show is aired for two hours, starting from 8:30 pm to 10:30 pm every evening which might have to be extended as many people have requested to do so. Now people are even ready to pay a subscription fee to support the service.
The radio has now got listeners even from Mizoram and other parts of Tripura having Mizo population who demand for the extension of programme as it is largely being made from all age groups.