Hudhud fury: Community Radio helps local communities

Cyclone Hudhud has dealt a severe blow to the coastal district of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha with heavy rains leaving many people dead and displacing lakhs of other people.

People living in the cyclone-ravaged areas of Vishakhapattnam are facing huge crisis of power supply and a severe lack of essential commodities.

As all the means of communication have been disrupted due to the power failure, the Community Radio stations in the disaster prone areas are being looked at as the only medium to impart information and instructions.

Neetu Prasad, the District Collector of Kakinada, contacted ‘Radio Ala’ to disseminate the required information. With the announcement of high alert by the district administration, ‘Radio Ala’ broadcast some instructions for the fishermen asking them to shift to rehabilitation centres and also informed them about the availability of essential items like food, water and medicines.

“We announced over our radio, the cyclone control room numbers, contact numbers of relief officials, and other vital information related to the flood situation”, said Satya, station Head of ‘Radio Ala’.

As a pre-cyclone preparation, ‘Radio Ala’ suggested the surrounding community to maintain adequate stock of food, drinking water, fuels and other essential commodities.

‘We hired one generator for running ‘Radio Ala’ without any uninterrupted broadcast of cyclone alerts’ Satya stated.

‘Radio Sanskar’ in Odisha, served the community by providing round the clock information coming from the Indian Meteorological Department, said Manor Das, Chairman, ‘Radio Sanskar’. He further added that ‘Radio Sanskar’ has done an awareness campaign on water-borne diseases such as Malaria, Diarrhoea.

‘Community Radio ‘Voice of SOA’ enlisted 500 volunteers for rescue and relief operations in north Andhra Pradesh.

“These volunteers have been drawn from among students of the University, NCC cadets and NSS volunteers”, said Dr Manas Kumar Mallick, director, Institute of Technical Education and Research (ITER).

Auhtor: Ruby Rani, OneWorld