In an attempt to reach out to the Odia diaspora and as part of its policy to expand its global reach, India’s national broadcaster has launched a new web based radio service, also staying at par with the technological advancements around.
India’s national broadcaster, the All India Radio (AIR), has launched a web radio service for the Odia diaspora across the globe.
Part of its External Service Division (ESD), which broadcasts in over 108 countries daily in 27 languages – 12 Indian and 15 foreign, the new service comes after years after it was first proposed.
Talking on the subject and sharing bits from history, Amlanjyoti Mazumdar, director, ESD, says, “Although Odia was not included in the list of Indian languages ESD broadcasts in, there was always a clamour for it. In 1999, Ila Panda, a former Member of Parliament representing Odisha first shared her idea of starting the service.”
“But back then, due to technological constraints we could not approach the Odia diaspora,” he adds.
The division of the national broadcaster, which is responsible for taking the broadcasting services across the globe, earlier aired on short wave and medium wave formats that have minimum or hindered receptivity in distant lands.
“ESD has made many technical advancements in the last two years,” says Mazumdar. “Now with the World Wide Web and availability of mobile applications, approaching a global audience has become more feasible,” he adds.
The division’s new internet and app-based service, the first-ever in Odia language, will feature news, radio plays and programmes on Indian and specifically Odia music, culture, literature, heritage, tourism and economy, and more.
“It will also have a programme teaching Odia language targeting the people who are losing touch with the language or children of Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) or Non-resident Indians (NRIs) who are not exposed to the language,” says Mazumdar.
The service was launched coinciding with the famous Ratha Yatra of Lord Jagannath in Odisha.
“The Prasar Bharti has a policy of global outreach and with this facility of live streaming, AIR is hoping to expand its global footprint,” adds Mazumdar. “The new service will allow overseas Odias to stay in touch with their motherland and the Odia ethos,” he says.