Nagpur: Radio Aksh, the country’s first radio channel exclusively meant for the visually challenged, was launched here on Tuesday. This internet radio channel will engage and present content suitable for them, and also created by them.
Nagpur’s 96-year-old institution, The Blind Relief Association Nagpur (TBRAN) and Samdrushti Kshamata Vikas Avam Anusandhan Mandal (Saksham) are the organisations behind this idea. The channel will be available on various internet radio platforms for free.
To be run 24x7, Radio Aksh would initially have six hours of content that would be repeated four times during the day. The content will be increased to 24 hours phase-wise, said Makarand Pandharipande, president of TBRAN.
“We have appealed to blind artists, writers and poets to come up with the content. We are ready to record and broadcast it as Radio Aksh will be their own platform,” Pandharipande added. Currently, TBRAN and Saksham are running audiobook, e-library and Braille book projects for the blind students. Many housewives and retired professionals volunteer to create audiobooks and other audio content for blind listeners.
Shirish Darvhekar of Saksham said that educational material and digital content on literature will be broadcast in the first phase. “It’s the first such radio station and we are sure that many more will come up in the coming days across the country. We are committed to keeping our content unique and crucial for the audience,” he said.
The officials of both organizations said the concept was arrived at during the Covid lockdown. “Conducting online classes for blind students was a challenge but we did it with the help of recorded audiobooks,” said Darvhekar.
Initially, they thought about launching an FM radio channel, but due to the limitations like area and content, they decided to go for internet radio. News content related to government schemes for blind people, employment opportunities etc will also be made available soon.
Internet connectivity is the only need for this channel. A special mobile application is available for it for free.
Such special internet radio channels are running in UK, USA and some other countries. In India, specialized radio channels for disabled people are live on online platforms only. But, Radio Aksh is the first channel exclusively for blind people.
ALL ABOUT RADIO AKSH
• Aksh means ‘Gift of God’, and ‘chariot of thousand horses’
• Radio Aksh app can be downloaded from play store
• In-house digital content like educational courses, competitive exams will be available
• Entertainment, talk shows to provide inspirational thoughts to blind persons will be relayed
• Interviews of prominent personalities, all types of news, novels, general knowledge etc