Someone still loves you

There has been a revival of radio pavilions in Mangaluru city, Puttur and Udupi 



In the time when every home did not have a radio, people would gather at these pavilions. They would listen to the 6 pm news with which All India Radio (AIR) would begin its second transmission."After Bengaluru and Hubballi, it was the Karnataka coast that got the radio," says Vasudev Rao, a hard-core radio listener. "Civic bodies those days were enthusiastic about providing radio pavilions. By 1960, all main towns along the coast and interior areas had pavilions. Those days only AIR was available on medium wave."
Udupi Rama Rao, president of the Mangaluru Radio Listeners Club and his wife, Savithri, run the club together. "We started the club in 2008," says Rama Rao. "We have no membership fee and over 500 members. The Radio parks, as I prefer to call them are radio community centres. People listen to the radio as they walk in the park.""The radio pavilions are structures in the middle of a park or on a hillock," says Sadananda Perla programme in-charge, AIR. "There are benches and a walking path. Speakers are placed all around the park. Walker can listen to the radio from anywhere in the park. Those who prefer to sit can use the benches around the pavilion."
Earlier radio pavilions had a transistor radio attached to an amplifier. The person who was in charge of the park would switch it on.

"Only AIR is broadcast here," says a horticulture officer in charge of the Kadri park which is very popular with listeners. Rama Rao says, usually it is the classical music, news, talks on current affairs, culture and music. People in the age of 35 and above frequent the park.

The Rao couple have presented over 300 transistor radio sets in the last ten years. "Social functions, marriages, birthdays and anniversaries… a radio is the only gift we can think of," they say.

In Puttur committed radio listeners, who call themselves radio heritage activists have saved the radio tower from being demolished by the Puttur Town Municipality. Thanks to their efforts the radio tower has been renovated is in service from October 2.

Similarly, in Kundapur when the destruction of the radio park was prevented and even today people gather to listen to radio. "It is not that they do not have radios," says Chandrashekar Rao an ardent listener. It is a tradition that the area around the radio park comes alive in the morning and evenings. In the evenings there are vendors selling snacks and even a small vegetable market. In the mornings there are newspaper and coffee vendors."

Of the five radio parks in Mangaluru city in Kadri, Derebail, Chilimbi Gandhi Park in Mannagudda and Nehru Maidan, only three of them are working while the ones at Chilimbi and Derebail are defunct. "They are a part of the heritage of the city and the radio parks at Chilimbi and Derebail will be revived," the Mayor of Mangaluru Bhaskar Moily said.

  Author:M Raghuram
 Source & credit :

Forwarded by:G Ramesh Chandran,DDE and HOO  AIR Mangaluru

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