| 22 Jun 2024
All India Radio and BBC World Services design special programming for earthquake affected Nepal

MUMBAI: In the wake of the recent earthquake that affected Nepal and India, All India Radio (AIR) and British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) have designed special programming for affected areas of the Indo-Nepal border and Nepal, respectively. AIR is also transmitting services through their External Services Division (ESD).

AIR stations in Patna, Darbhanga, Gorakhpur, Lucknow, Gangtok, Siliguri, Guwahati, Delhi and others put out suitable programmes to generate awareness among the masses, particularly informing them how to tackle such situations.

On Monday, it was reported that aftershocks measuring 5.1 magnitude were felt in the northern and eastern belt of India bordering Nepal, along with parts of West Bengal and Bihar. The stations that fall under the affected areas were advised to carry programmes based on the situation in their respective areas, which included updates on the condition there. Some of the stations contacted State and local government authorities which deal with disaster management activities. The broadcast also included emphasis on educating people on the possible post - quake health issues in special health programmes. In Delhi, FM Rainbow contacted National Institute of Disaster Management's (NIDM) K J Anand Kumar and National Disaster Response Force's (NDRF) S S Guleria on 25 April in New Delhi. On 27 April, FM Rainbow contacted New Delhi NDMA former vice chairman M Sashidhar Reddy and on 28 April, it connected with NDMA's senior consultant R K Kaushal. On 2 May, FM Rainbow will run a Saturday phone-in-programme on 'Bhukamp Aur Aapda Prabhandan' which will feature SAARC Disaster Management Centre director Santosh Kumar; IIPA Disaster Management consultant V K Sharma and NDRF director general O. P. Singh.

Through the External Services Division (ESD) of AIR, news of the earthquake along with immediate measure, SOS announcements advising people not to panic and take precautionary safety measures against the possible aftershocks were made. The Nepali Service broadcast on short-wave remained the only available communication link to reach out to the distressed people in Kathmandu valley and Nepal. The evening's regular programming transmission was changed and programmes relating to the Earthquake were broadcast continuously. A special report about the flying in of medical help, relief material and NDMA experts by India for the help of the Nepalese people in their hour of crisis was broadcast. On 26 April, the Prime Minister's 'Mann Ki Baat' included an appeal from the Narendra Modi.

Meanwhile, BBC World Service is now broadcasting additional programming on shortwave in both, Nepalese and English. The BBC's international development charity- BBC Media Action-is working with the Nepali Service on BBC World Service. World Service Languages controller Liliane Landor said, “Information is vital and we are doing all we can to make sure that our audiences in the affected areas receive their local and regional news as well as 'Lifeline' programming designed to give practical information to help deal with the aftermath of the earthquake."