After that the stage was set for the Inaugural of the 6th edition of The Radio Festival. Archana Kapoor, Founder TRF delivered the welcome address where she brought attention to the fact that "Radio is one of the most inclusive mediums available, providing equitable, equal, and accessible information for everyone regardless of background.” The inaugural address was given by Mr. Hezekiel Damini, Officer-in-charge, UNESCO New Delhi, with a warm 'Namaskar' shedding light on TRF by saying “The Radio Festival is about bringing people together.”
The esteemed guests finally distributed the certificates to the TRF-UNESCO SDG fellows of the second cohort. The session ended with Ms. Nitika Kakkar, Festival Director, giving Vote of Thanks and announcing the TRF-UNESCO-CEMCA SDG Fellows for 2023- the third cohort. In the following panel LT Gen Rameshwar Yadav shared a number of incidents when radio helped save lives, identify friends from foes and help find the way when it seemed all was lost. The audience loved his energy and the session.
The next session was moderated by former Principal DG Mr. Sitanshu Kar. He was in conversation with AIR commentators Ritu Rajput, D Andrew & Tanvi Taneja for the panel named Rajpath on Radio: Stories of Republic Day Broadcasts. The session revisited the history of radio broadcasts of the parade at Rajpath, a symbol of honor, independence & national pride.
When talking about national pride, women of India can't be left behind and for that, our next session named Super Womaniya included Super Womaniya RJ Stutee from Fever FM in conversation with Jyoti Burrett Ann, formerly the India Women's Senior National team Striker. They discussed their experiences, challenges and what it is to be a woman in a male-dominated arena.
RJs are master storytellers who weave magic with their voices. The session, Live@TRF, gave the audience an opportunity to witness the power of storytelling with seasoned professionals RJ Akriti, RJ Rahul Makin, RJ Sachin, and RJ Vijdan with moderator Deshraj Singh. A live program on a prompt given to them on the spot, embarking on a whimsical journey filled with witty satire, Bollywood nostalgia trips, magic realism, and incisive commentary on contemporary society, all interwoven with a touch of humor.
From natural disasters to conflicts and pandemics, radios have been harbingers of peace in difficult situations. In this panel titled, Radio for Peace, the RJs and programming heads from different parts of the country came together to share stories of how radio has played a major role in maintaining harmony and getting the community closer when most required. Journalist Smita Sharma moderated the session with radio personalities Mr.Guru Prasad, Joint Director (AIR), Mr. Jaydeep Banerjee, Regional Programming and Marketing Head, East (Red FM), RJ Divya (Radio City), RJ Nasir (DPS Radio, Srinagar), Ms. Sulakshna Bramta Bali, Regional Programming Head North (BIG FM). The panel highlighted the role of the medium in promoting peace during times of crisis.
For the second last session of Day 1, Preserving Culture: Folk Music and Indigenous Languages, the Voices from all three tiers of radio come together to share their bits and experiences on how radio has become the medium for the preservation of folk music, indigenous languages and local culture. The word music instantly comes to our mind whenever we hear about radio. For this reason alone we often hear people saying that Radio is a dying industry as we can get access to songs anywhere now, But, Radio has not only ruled the hearts of people for generations through music but is much more than a music streaming platform. The session ended with Ms. Subhashri Mohapatra, Joint Director of News at All India Radio, speaking about the importance of news dissemination through community radio.
Since music is the soul of radio. Taking a break from the deafening din of everyday life, and singing along to some soothing tunes, the final session Disconnect from the Clutter - Strum a new tune took us to the world of music and radio. The day ended with RJ Sayema (Radio Mirchi) and Mr. Rahul Ram (Indian Ocean) talking and singing about how we can spread happiness in people’s lives by our small actions.
As a continuation of the projects on Climate Change and Environment Sustainability implemented with the support of UNICEF in 2022, SMART leveraged the Day 2 of The Radio Festival to talk Climate Change to over 150 community radio representatives, private radios, CRA and AROI, climate change advocates, policy makers and other stakeholders like. The event was organised in collaboration with the G20 secretariat and supported by UNICEF in partnership with the Ministry of information and Broadcasting, UNESCO and CEMCA. The all-day deliberations and panels were designed in a manner that enables experts to share their views, radio broadcasters from all the three tiers (public, private and community) to share their work and experiences, the government and other foundations to build on the intersections of Climate Change and partners of the Climate Countdown project to share their best practices and learnings. The Radio Festival came to a close with a big thank you to all the participants and speakers.