[cr-india] my response for 2004 Tsunami

sreedher ramamurthy r.sreedher at gmail.com
Sat Jun 22 06:55:08 CDT 2013


Dear Sajan

Thank you for referring me in your discussions on Community Radio and
disasters

Yes it is True that in 2004 Anna CR was the only community radio station in
the country. Mr Navin Chawla did visit the CR station on the day of Tsunami
and saw its programmes on Tsunami

I was at home in the morning and my maid servant told me about the water
entering her hut. I immediately rushed to the office and asked all the
students available in the hostel to go with their cellphones and flash
recorders and start feeding me. Anna CR during my days never had recorded
transmissions.. Always an anchor was present in the studios. But things
have changed after I left Anna CR

The Tsunami struck around 8 am and our programems were on the air at 9 am
straight from the beach . In fact Anna CR had first recording of the
survivors. The Police commissioner himself monitored the programems and
provided immediate relief to the affected persons

Navin chawla who was on a tour to Tamilnadu saw the working and it so
happened he was made the spokesperson for the union govt on relief measures
. He was so convinced he immediately issued statements to the press and TOI
carried it on the first page.

He also wrote to the Home ministry which was the nodal agency for disaster
management at that time to consider setting up of CR in Andaman and Nicobar
islands and take the help of Anna university. Disaster management authority
was formed later.

We came out with a solar powered satellite triggered community radio
stationin association with ISRO and BEL. Several meetings were held

Mr Chawla wrote to chief Secretary Andaman Nicobar islands to fast forward
the project. There was no action from that state.  Why while at CEMCA we
also had one Regional consultation at Andaman in January 2012 . The State
administration did cooperate in conducting the meet but till today not a
single application from Andaman and Nicobar.

After seeing the news report a disaster management organisation from Japan
contacted me and tried to use the project developed for India to be used in
Thailand. I did go several times to Phuket, Thailand but nothing tangible
happened due to the change in the leadership.

The proposal was that like relief team in addition to carrying the
medicines, food, personnel , telecommunication equipment must also carry a
CR transmitter and start transmissions along with relief organisations.

Yes , the disaster management guidlines and the protocol must incorporate
community radio as the most important tool.

Let us carry on this campaign
Dr. R. Sreedher
Media expert and Community Radio Practitioner
Emeritus Professor Apeejay Stya University, Sohna India
B 1/ 43 Hauz Khas
New Delhi 110016
Phone: +91 11 46067664
*+91 9810778459*


On 22 June 2013 16:56, <cr-india-request at mail.sarai.net> wrote:

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> Today's Topics:
>
>    1. Re:  Community Radio could have helped thousands  in
>       Uttarakhand (Osama Manzar Y)
>    2.  Saritha Thomas -- stranded in Uttarakhand (sajan venniyoor)
>    3. Re:  Saritha Thomas -- stranded in Uttarakhand (Arti Jaiman)
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Sat, 22 Jun 2013 08:09:41 +0530
> From: Osama Manzar Y <osama_manzar at yahoo.com>
> To: sajan venniyoor <venniyoor at gmail.com>, crindia
>         <cr-india at sarai.net>
> Subject: Re: [cr-india] Community Radio could have helped thousands     in
>         Uttarakhand
> Message-ID: <ssj3a0n71b0xceyka7r2445o.1371868781968 at email.android.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
>
> Sajan
>
> You are incredible.?
>
>
> Sent from Samsung Mobile
>
> -------- Original message --------
> From: sajan venniyoor <venniyoor at gmail.com>
> Date: 22/06/2013  02:55  (GMT+05:30)
> To: crindia <cr-india at sarai.net>
> Subject: Re: [cr-india] Community Radio could have helped thousands in
>  Uttarakhand
>
> On 22 June 2013 00:16, Ashish Sen?<sen_ashish at yahoo.com>?wrote:
> Remember Navin Chawla?s (then I and B ?Secy) comment in the immediate
> aftermath of the 2004 tsunami that community radio was an important
> component in disaster preparedness?
>
> During the 2004 tsunami, Anna FM was the only CR station in India. About
> the I&B Secretary's conviction that CR was an important component of
> disaster preparedness, Dr Sreedher (then Channel Manager, Anna FM) wrote,
> "He immediately requested our university to set up a similar community
> radio station in the Nicobar Islands, which were also badly hit by the
> tsunami and to train local people there to run the radio."
>
> "On his suggestion, we are going to install seven radio transmitters in
> the Nicobar Islands. This community radio station will also have a
> satellite-triggered disaster warning system. The government of India is
> keen on having the system in place there."
>
> This was in 2005. Such is the government of India's keenness to have a
> radio based disaster warning system in the Nicobar Islands that the network
> of CR stations in the archipelago has now grown to approximately zero.
>
> During the Kosi floods of 2008, we were told that we may have some
> sinister design behind setting up emergency radio stations ("You may
> broadcast relief messages on the surface, but how do we know what you will
> broadcast below that?", we were asked by a heavyweight in the Water
> Resources Ministry, whose waist size was about three times his IQ). After
> the Emergency Radio proposal file was duly circulated to half a dozen
> ministries, we informed by the I&B Ministry -- six months later -- that
> since the floods had subsided, could we wait for the next one?
>
> So, to answer your question, Ram, on whether it would be worth applying
> for emergency radio licenses in Uttarakhand, I am tempted to roll on the
> floor laughing hysterically, but since we can all see the tragedy unfolding
> in the hills, yes, it's probably worth applying applying.?
>
> But let me add that even half a dozen emergency radio stations in the
> disaster zone would hardly reach all the affected people of Garhwal. As
> Anand Sharma, head of the Meteorological Center, Dehradun says, nothing
> less than "a large number of community radio stations" can avert such a
> disaster in future, or cover this sparsely populated area.?
>
> At present, there are just five 'community radio stations' in Uttarakhand,
> of which three are licensed to educational institutions, including an
> Agricultural University. To quote Dr. Sreedher again, "Anna FM is run
> exclusively by university students and the Sunday morning transmission is a
> recorded broadcast. As a result we were unable to respond immediately when
> the tsunami struck. Moreover, by law we were not allowed, as a community
> radio station to broadcast news and current affairs programmes."
>
> The good news is that there are 17 Letters of Intent holders from
> Uttarakhand. The other news is that 12 of them are Krishi Vigyan Kendras.
> With the exception of Mandakini ki Awaz, the rest are Dehradun-based
> universities and educational societies.?
>
> Mr Sharma of the Uttarakhand Met Dept says, "A strong network of community
> FM radios would have played a radical role in alerting the locals as well
> as the tourists/pilgrims."?Do you see Krishi Vigyan Kendras, manned by govt
> servants, playing a radical role in alerting the public, unless the
> disaster strikes between 10am and 5pm on working days with sufficient
> advance notice??
>
> It is instructive that Rudraprayag had a District Collector named Neeraj
> Khairwal four days ago. Two days ago, the Collector was Vijay Kumar
> Daundiyal, who promptly suffered a 'mild heart attack' and was evacuated to
> the state capital where "only people close to him" are allowed to visit
> him. If yet another Collector has been sent to Rudraprayag, it's a closely
> guarded secret, as the Collectorate lies empty This confirms my belief that
> disaster alerts are usually sent to the Collectorate so that the Collector
> can collect his family and belongings and skip like the high hills.
>
> with regards,
> Sajan
>
>
>
> On 22 June 2013 00:16, Ashish Sen <sen_ashish at yahoo.com> wrote:
> What needs to be done, for a start, is to remind the ?I and B ministry to
> urgently wake up and address ?the relevance of ?Community Radio in
> disturbed and vulnerable areas ? an issue which it brought up at least two
> CR Sammellans ago ?but seems to have been consigned to the backburner since
> then.
>
> Otherwise the d?j? vu like scenario is likely to hit us again and again
> with even more disastrous consequences. Remember Navin Chawla?s (then I and
> B ?Secy) comment in the immediate aftermath of the 2004 tsunami that
> community radio was an important component in disaster preparedness?
> Unfortunately, there was little- if any - ?action on the ground. About
> three years later, post the Bihar ?floods and ?the Kosi running amuck,
> pleas and efforts to set up ?emergency ?radio from community media
> advocates came to nought.
>
> Anand Sharma?s comments resonate with several others like ?the NDMA who
> keep plugging ?the critical importance of community preparedness and
> community response in effectively reckoning with the challenge. The proof
> of the pudding, however, lies in the eating. Can we get the I and B
> ministry to act ?- and act quickly?
>
> Best
>
> Ashish
>
>
> Subject:? [cr-india] Community Radio could?have helped thousands
> in?Uttarakhand
> Sent:?Fri, Jun 21, 2013 10:35:29 AM
> ?
> Timely??weather alerts could have saved thousands
> ?Neha Pant, Hindustan Times ?Dehradun, June 21, 2013
>
> ?Presence of an effective communication dissemination
> ?system would have lessened the magnitude of the disaster
> ?caused in Uttarakhand.
>
> ?The Meteorological Centre, Dehradun had alerted various
> ?departments of the state government about the possibility of
> ?heavy rains and landslides in the state, 48 hours prior to
> ?the intervening night of June 16 and 17 that brought
> ?widespread damage. However, it now emerges the alert failed
> ?to percolate down to the masses at large, worsening the
> ?magnitude of the damage, especially in the Char Dham Yatra
> ?route.
>
> ?"The intensity of the devastation could have been
> ?much lesser had there been an effective communication system
> ?in place to disseminate our weather alert to the masses. A
> ?strong network of community FM radios would have played a
> ?radical role in alerting the locals as well as the
> ?tourists/pilgrims," Anand Sharma, head of
> ?meteorological center, Dehradun, told Hindustan Times on
> ?Thursday.
>
> ?Uttarakhand faced the worst hit of rains from the night of
> ?June 16 and major damages were caused on June 17 in the
> ?hills. The Met Center had issued alerts to various
> ?governmental departments two days in advance. Sharma said
> ?that establishing an all-weather communication system was
> ?the need of the hour. Currently, only three community radios
> ?are reportedly functional in Uttarakhand.
>
> ?"Setting up of a large number of community FM radios
> ?can avert such a disaster in future. Also, distribution of
> ?low-cost and low-maintenance technologies like tone alert
> ?hand-winding radios especially in the rural areas, will
> ?ensure that weather alerts reach to the public in time,
> ?averting such disasters," he concluded.
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>
> Message: 2
> Date: Sat, 22 Jun 2013 14:41:13 +0530
> From: sajan venniyoor <venniyoor at gmail.com>
> To: CR India <cr-india at sarai.net>
> Subject: [cr-india] Saritha Thomas -- stranded in Uttarakhand
> Message-ID:
>         <CA+2EU71ULQoJFZBu==
> Ufas0CCzYA4Bk0yyxSWy9WcMseW2_Cdg at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="windows-1252"
>
> Many of you will remember CR activist and Forum member, Saritha Thomas, who
> gave up all kinds of interesting radio jobs in the UK to work in the other
> UK (Uttarakhand). I read in the press yesterday that she was stranded in
> Prithviraj Nagar<
> http://newindianexpress.com/states/karnataka/Community-radio-promoter-stranded/2013/06/21/article1645467.ece
> >,
> a small hamlet near Uchadungi Post, about 70 kms from Kedarnath. Saritha's
> People's POWER Collective is active there, working with *Mandakini ki Awaz,
> *one of the older CR groups in Uttarakhand. (Manvendra Negi of *Mandakini
> *is
> still waiting for his Wireless License).
>
> In the midst of their travails, Saritha and her team found the time and
> grace to write about their host, Manvendra and other "little known heroes
> of Uttarakhand<
> http://www.peoplespower-co.org/little-known-heroes-of-uttarakhand/>
> ".
>
> Good luck to you, Saritha, Manvendra, Shweta and Anmol.
>
> warm regards,
> Sajan
>
>
> Community radio promoter
> stranded<
> http://newindianexpress.com/states/karnataka/Community-radio-promoter-stranded/2013/06/21/article1645467.ece
> >
> Express News Service | 21st June 2013
>
> When Saritha, a resident of Bangalore, moved to Prithvirajnagar, a small
> hamlet near Uchadungi Post at Uttarakhand on June 1, she went there with
> dreams to set up a community radio station. But now, she, like many others,
> is  stranded due to flash floods and hoping that the situation would
> improve in the next few days.
>
> Saritha Thomas, a  resident of Cox Town, had recently relocated to
> Prithvirajnagar. She had worked in various radio stations including BBC
> World Service Radio.
>
> ?I want to set up community radio stations at remote villages in India
> where villagers can get to hear programmes in  their own language. That?s
> when, People?s P.OW.E.R (Participatory OWnership Empowerment Radio) was
> born.? The station is yet to go on air.
>
> They chose the first project at Prithvirajnagar, which around 70 km from
> Kedarnath.
>
> Sarita said, ?For the past four days, we are living without power, water,
> signal and no internet connection. We were literally stranded. But things
> seemed to be better since Wednesday night.
>
> We were able to get power and thus charge our phones.?
>
> ?We have come here to set up community radio station which can reach some
> 15 km radius. I am here to train villagers to run it on their own. We will
> not step back. We are just hoping that situation will improve and we will
> meet our target,? Sarita said.
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> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 3
> Date: Sat, 22 Jun 2013 16:41:44 +0530
> From: Arti Jaiman <arti at trfindia.org>
> To: venniyoor at gmail.com, cr-india at sarai.net
> Subject: Re: [cr-india] Saritha Thomas -- stranded in Uttarakhand
> Message-ID: <9wf7pf8xrsr5jw6eufh62rx8.1371898265711 at email.android.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
>
> Yes read this story. Manvendra has been unreachable for the last 3
> days.?sajan venniyoor <venniyoor at gmail.com> wrote:Many of you will
> remember CR activist and Forum member, Saritha Thomas, who gave up all
> kinds of interesting radio jobs in the UK to work in the other UK
> (Uttarakhand). I read in the press yesterday that she was stranded in
> Prithviraj Nagar, a small hamlet near Uchadungi Post, about 70 kms from
> Kedarnath. Saritha's People's POWER Collective is active there, working
> with Mandakini ki Awaz, one of the older CR groups in Uttarakhand.
> (Manvendra Negi of?Mandakini?is still waiting for his Wireless License).?
>
> In the midst of their travails, Saritha and her team found the time and
> grace to write about their host, Manvendra and other "little known heroes
> of Uttarakhand".?
>
> Good luck to you, Saritha, Manvendra, Shweta and Anmol.?
>
> warm regards,
> Sajan
>
>
> Community radio promoter stranded
> Express News Service | 21st June 2013
>
> When Saritha, a resident of Bangalore, moved to Prithvirajnagar, a small
> hamlet near Uchadungi Post at Uttarakhand on June 1, she went there with
> dreams to set up a community radio station. But now, she, like many others,
> is ?stranded due to flash floods and hoping that the situation would
> improve in the next few days.
>
> Saritha Thomas, a ?resident of Cox Town, had recently relocated to
> Prithvirajnagar. She had worked in various radio stations including BBC
> World Service Radio.
>
> ?I want to set up community radio stations at remote villages in India
> where villagers can get to hear programmes in ?their own language. That?s
> when, People?s P.OW.E.R (Participatory OWnership Empowerment Radio) was
> born.? The station is yet to go on air.
>
> They chose the first project at Prithvirajnagar, which around 70 km from
> Kedarnath.
>
> Sarita said, ?For the past four days, we are living without power, water,
> signal and no internet connection. We were literally stranded. But things
> seemed to be better since Wednesday night.
>
> We were able to get power and thus charge our phones.?
>
> ?We have come here to set up community radio station which can reach some
> 15 km radius. I am here to train villagers to run it on their own. We will
> not step back. We are just hoping that situation will improve and we will
> meet our target,? Sarita said.
> -------------- next part --------------
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>
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>
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