Have you been to small villages that share walls with neighbors, with congested pathways to even walk? Have you fallen asleep with a soothing song and woke up listening to moral stories with pleasant music? Have you ever wondered how illiterates were so knowledgeable from what is happening around them to what to becoming tech-savvy?
I remember the days where the rhythm of handlooms and sonancy of songs wake the whole village as early as five in the morning. Here both men and women neither had education, nor time to spend with their children, but there was one person, who did this noble job of educating the whole village with their basic rights, job offers, NEWS around the world, latest movies released, songs with strong lyrics that insisted on gender equality, celebrated girl child, voices against child marriage, against casteism, etc., kudos! If you have guessed right. I am talking about our forgotten friend “Radio” and the forgotten art of listening. Those were the days when we were not rich to own a radio but our neighbors were generous enough to turn the volume high for us.
So when there are various modes of media exposure like Television, Newspaper, Cinema today, if you ask me why do I consider radio as the best? Other media penetration is proportional to the per capita income of the household, literacy rate of the state, but radio is the only media that doesn’t rely much on other factors. From railway timing to weather conditions, from recipes to beauty tips, from cricket to hockey, from Ilaiyaraja to A.R. Rahman all you need is to just have to lend your ears and that’s all it cost for knowing the outer world.
Let’s talk about some statistics now. Today, the richest states of India have the highest exposure to Television of 78% in men and 71% in women, and the national average of radio exposure has come down to 22%. While people from southern and western states of India are more exposed to media like newspapers, television, and cinema, people of the northern and northeastern parts of the country are relying upon radio.
With rising other modes of media communication, we have already forgotten our hero, who never wastes our time, he neither needs special attention nor distracts us from our work. He is handy and with the suspense of the next song that will be played, he is making our lives lively!
I have never forgotten my hero! He is alive, he speaks, he sings, he updates scores, he spreads COVID awareness, and keeps me engaged! I wrote this because he is worth mentioning!