THE HIMALAYAN BEACON
BY FATHER C. M. PAUL
SONADA, 4 DECEMBER 2017: The only college community radio in West Bengal and entire northeast India marked its first anniversary launching Citizen Journalist (CJ) program. In the first batch of CJs commissioned during the gala event held 2nd December there were five young people including one and only female candidate. “Hailing from different parts of Darjeeling district and Mirik Sub-division, these young people re reporting from their area with local news,” says Radio Salesian Program Coordinator RJ Samir Chhetri. Mr Chhetri adds, “These volunteers provide information relevant to the community for daily news segment about the community which is broadcast Monday to Friday on Radio Salesian.”
Eminent Nepali theatre personalities like legendary theatre actress Menuka Pradhan, Himalayan Theatre Workshop Founder Jiwan Gurung, AIR Kurseong Director of Drama Program Nirmal Gurung, as well as CEO of Namaste Kharsang TV Channel graced the occasion marking the award ceremony of the first Nepali language radio drama competition held for three categories – school, colleges and open. For drama competition, RJs contacted 33 high schools, 13 colleges and general public of the hills visiting schools and colleges. Radio promos reminded the public to come up with 20 plus/minus minutes drama on social themes. A total of 26 drama scripts were shortlisted for jury decision. Winners in all three categories received cash prizes sponsored by Jalapahar and Lebong Cantonments, as well as Radio Salesian certificates, and trophies offered by Nehru Yuva Kendra Darjeeling.
Currently, the radio station has 12 hours of daily broadcasting which includes 5 hours of live shows (Naulo Bihani – current affairs – from 8 am to 11 am) and Samarpan – song and message dedication from 1 pm to 3 pm) In total, there are some 30 programs being broadcast over a 12 hour daily show during the week. More than 50 percent of radio programs are done in collaboration with locals which include Children, Youth, Senior Citizen, Women, Entrepreneurs, Farmers, Youth, Career Guidance, Down Memory Lane for senior citizens, Cooking recipe; Talent show, and stories behind music, Social theme based drama. Jingle Bells Season 2 – December 2017 – christmas carol singing competition is on in which teams less than ten members including musicians are encouraged to record their original Nepali language compositions at Radio Salesian.
The carols will be posted on Radio Salesian Facebook page for voting and the Carol which receives highest number of ‘likes’ will be declared winner. The voting starts at 4 pm on 20th December and ends at 4 pm on 30th December 4 pm. Currently there are 9 Radio Journalists and 7 volunteers including two faculty members and one Mass Communication student as well as one intern in the production team.