[AI] A Request Worth Making: Seeking Broadening of the Scope of the AIR Programmes' Content

Saaqib Mahmuud saaqib1978 at yahoo.co.in
Wed Sep 26 05:00:12 EDT 2018

Hi AccessIndia mates? Hope you're having a good time. 

I've got something important to discuss with you here. 

I've been a listener of the All India Radio (AIR) through the medium and short wave radio since my school days in the late 1980s, and nowadays I've been listening to the AIR broadcasts through their live mobile app on my Android phone.
There's one thing that often pinches me about the AIR programmes. There is simply too much music, especially the Bollywood variety. Of the four or five Hindi / Urdu channels available through the AIR Live mobile app (i.e. the AIR FM Gold, Delhi; the AIR FM Rainbow, Delhi; the AIR Vividh Bharati, Mumbai; the AIR Urdu Service; etc.), I've often noticed that Bollywood music is playing concurrently on all of them. And, the same goes for the regional language AIR stations available through the app. 

Even the live running commentary of the cricket matches broadcast by the AIR is not available through the app outside India; nor are stations like the General Overseas Service of the AIR. And, there is simply no station from either Utttar Pradesh (UP) or Madhiya Pradesh (MP) available through the live app, at least outside India.

Nobody can dispute the worth of the Bollywood and its music, and the contribution it has made to India's repute and prestige abroad. Bollywood music is simply beautiful! 

But the point is that the Bollywood music is available through CDs / DVDs and several Internet websites nowadays even for free ( e.g., through http://www.webmusic.in ). So perhaps the air time of the AIR could be better utilised if AIR adopts an approach similar to the BBC. (Visit https://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/ for listening to all the radio stations of the BBC online.). Just like the BBC radio, there should be specialised AIR channels for each of (Bollywood) music, sports, documentaries & currennt affairs, science & tech, awareness & education, and so on.
On the BBC radio, especially on the Radio 4 and the World Service channels, there are several programmes devoted to review and reading of books, and even audio podcasts of those programmes are available for free download from the BBC website. (Visit the following link for listening to and downloading the BBC audio podcasts.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts ) 

The gist of my argument is this: we the  blind and visually impaired persons should approach the management of the AIR and request them to come up with programmes featuring the readings in sweet voices and proper accents of books in Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, and other languages of India, especially the classics of the literatures of these languages. 

And, we should also request the AIR management for programmmes on science & tech, including the access technology for the blind! 

This, I think, would be a much better utilisation of the air time and the resources paid for with money of the public of India! 

These programmes could also be made available for download from the AIR website as audio podcasts. 

And, I personally would also like to be able to listen to the AIR channels from Lucknow, Bhopal, and Hyderabad. 

Hope the AccessIndia community would find this message worth considering. 


Saaqib Mahmood, a visually impaired personEmail: saaqib1978 at yahoo.co.in


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