PSG & Sons Charities with 93 years of experience in Education, Industry, Hospitals and Service Organizations started PSG Community Radio (PSGCR) in the PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore on 14th December 2007.
PSGCR works as a truly democratic platform—for the people, by the people, from the people and to the people. This radio works with the community and uses the medium to create awareness, give information, and participate in issues of local self-governance. It also provides entertainment. These programmes are all based on requests and feedback from the community.
The programmes of PSG Community Radio focus on several issues including Education, Sports, Environment, Food & Agriculture, Health & Nutrition, Women Empowerment, Science & Technology, Land Resources, Water & Sanitation, Legal awareness and aid, Social, Cultural & Community development, Disaster Management, New and Renewable Energy, Scientific and Industrial research, Vocational Training, Youth affairs, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Tribal Welfare, Geriatric and Pediatric Care, Arts and Culture, and Cultural activities. The content, format, subject, presentation and language reflect and emanate local flavor.
PSGCR interacts with people to determine feedback and if the programmes that are broadcast reach them. Members of community are invited to visit the studios. This helps a lot in establishing a strong relationship with listeners. It also motivates people to articulate and share different ideas that contribute towards a better environment and better society.
The radio station also connects with community groups through off broadcast mechanisms. An innovative initiative in this context are off -broadcast liaisons between patients or their representatives who call the PSGCR for the requirement of blood and the blood banks in Coimbatore and also ensure donation in emergency situation. The station makes regular announcements on blood donation.
PSGCR has also initiated interesting initiatives which address grievance redressal. Live interactions through on the spot recordings with people of different age-groups enable the station to get first-hand information on Relevant officials of the local administration are then contacted and invited to the PSGCR studios to discuss the issues and also suggest how the problem can be resolved. The discussions are then broadcast.
To meet the training needs of the unemployed, SC/ST/OBC, Women, School dropouts, Minorities, Physically Disabled, economically poor sections of the society and other under privileged PSGCR conducted several awareness programmes through collaborations with diverse cross sectoral groups. These include NGOs like Avinashilingam Jan Shiksha Sansthan, Polytechnics (sponsored by MHRD, New Delhi, Govt. of India) and others.
Some of the significant programmes broadcast in this context include a) Series on TB awareness and eradication in co-ordination with Joint Director of Medical services –District TB Centre, Coimbatore and Tiruppur Districts. b) Programmes on language learning in collaboration with Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), c) Through a tie up with the Commissioner of Police and the Tamil Nadu Police Traffic Wardens Organization Coimbatore City Unit, PSG Community Radio has broadcast several awareness programmes on Road safety, Anti Ragging, Traffic Awareness, Safety Driving, Preventing from theft and so on.
The station has also facilitated free coaching camps for IAS, IPS Aspirants along with Coimbatore Corporation Higher Study Centre.
As per the guidelines of the MIB, PSGCR serves the community in two aspects. One is for the benefit of the student community and the other is for the community.
Any student who is committed to communication can join the station, and gain experience in a range of spheres which include:
• presenting or producing a radio show,
• creating engaging and informative news,
• planning and producing events within the campus or in the local area,
• maintaining sophisticated broadcast systems,
• conducting interviews with local artists, researching music, developing marketing campaigns.
Signficantly, students of PSGTech have developed a technology called GSM Enabled Totally Automated Radio Broadcast to remotely monitor and control the transmission and broadcasting. This device takes care of the entire transmission with a single SMS based control along with remote operation, supervision and periodic status updates of the transmission.
PSGCR has a number of interesting records to its credit:
It entered the Asia Book of Records by Mobilizing 108 RJs to perform 107.8 hours of a continuous, talkathon show. The programme was to emphasize its transmission frequency of 107.8 MHz. It started from 6th April 2019 and continued till 10th April 2019 and comprised 84 different genres. without Songs, Music and Jingles and recorded programmes
It entered the Guinness Book of World Records with the participation of also 108 RJs who presented a single show simultaneously for 107.8 minutes on the topic “BE THE CHANGE – NAALAI NAMADHE-TOMORROW IS OURS”.
PSGCR in co-ordination with Radio Hub has recently initiated a mega programme called “VISION INDIA 2030 – THE WORLD’S BIGGEST VOICE CAMPAIGN”. This mega programme aims to involve and record the views of 1,00,000 community voices in and around Coimbatore, on the changes that are necessary to make the city pollution free, ecofriendly, a green and clean City and Clean City. Significantly, the initiative is inspired by Dr APJ Kalam’s vision, “India 2020.” Within a little more than a decade of going on air, PGCR has clearly come a long way!
A first-hand account by B Chandrasekharan
PSG Community Radio, Coimbatore