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Bengal’s first college radio starts broadcast 

By C. M. Paul

Darjeeling: Educationists and top leaders attended the launch of West Bengal’s first college radio on December 8 at Salesian College at Sonada near Darjeeling.

“It is indeed a proud moment for me and for the entire North Bengal University (NBU) family as we launch the first college community radio,” said Nupur Das, who represented the university at the colorful function.

Das, Under Graduate Secretary of the university, joined Bishop Stephen Lepcha of Darjeeling, Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Darjeeling Aavik Chatterjee and several other community representatives to launch Radio Salesian 90.8 FM – Voice of the Hills.

Chatterjee encouraged the college fraternity and its radio station “to spread social messages and bring education and hope to the masses.”

The web version of Radio Salesian was launched on October 28 by Amar Rai, Member of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly from Darjeeling.

A team of six Radio Jockeys host some 25 shows, seven days a week and daily 12 hours under RJ Samir Chhetri of Radio Misty fame along with other local RJs Soroj Tamang, Savitri Thapa, and Rohit Rai. Also faculty members Sumina Chettri (HoD Sociology) and Bryan Kerr (HoD Computer Science) are hosting shows. While some shows are daily, others are weekly and bi-weekly.

Three more RJ interns Sagar Rai, Regina Rai and Smriti Rai have joined the station for a two month’s intense training.

The vast array of programs in Nepali include Prabhat Vandana (Morning Devotion), Naulo Bihani (New Dawn), Samishran (Fusion); Shasakta Naari (Empowered Woman); Samarpan (Song Dedication); Srijana Ka Lahar Haru (Literature Review); Krishi Utthan (Agriculture Show); Shrastha Ra Srijana (Legendary Artistes); Hamro Bhaka Hamro Sanskriti (Folk Music); Sangeethanajali (Songs); Farkera Herda (Memory Lane); Bal Manjari (Kids Show); Charcha Paricharcha (Social Issues); Yuwa Awaaj (Youth Voice); Kathai Kathaa (Story Time); Prathibha Manj (Talent Show); Jan Gunaso (Grievances), Old is Gold, and Unplugged.

Stories Behind Music is the only English language show featured on Sunday.

“Our Community Radio broadcast is set to serve geographic and ethnic communities of the region with content that is popular, relevant and often overlooked by commercial or mass-media broadcasters,” said Principal Father George Thadathil who was relentlessly behind the radio project since June 2012.

He added, “Our students and faculty members are also committed to bring academic knowledge to the masses.”

Already some 70 students of the college conduct outreach programs in 20 youth centers every Sunday in tea estates and villages spread out between Kurseong and Ghoom.

The web radio may be accessed on computer or mobile phone by visiting “Radio Salesian” on college website www.salesiancollege.in.

Radio Salesian – Voice of the Hills is a not-for-profit venture of Kolkata Salesians was made possible by a generous grant from UGC (University Grants Commission) after Salesian College obtained the status of “College with the Potential for Excellence.”

The regular transmission of Radio Salesian 90.8 FM channel may be received live in parts of Darjeeling and Siliguri, as well as Kurseong, Mirik, Sonada, Pashupati (Nepal), Sukiapokhri, Balasun Valley and several other places.

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