| 19 Apr 2024
Radio Stations come forward to help flood crisis in Tamil Nadu

MUMBAI: Heavy rains in several parts of Tamil Nadu and other major areas of Chennai has lead to serious flooding in the state, disrupting the daily life of residents there. The death toll has reached a total of 188, so far, due to rain related incidents. Schools have been shut, exams have been postponed, and water logging has made it difficult for to commute as well as communicate.

Police, fire and rescue, NDRF and State Disaster Force, and Coast Guard services have been kept ready in case the situation gets worse. The Indian Meteorological Department is also keeping minute to minute updates on the rainfall, and the Indian military and paramilitary forces are continuing to aid rescue and relief operations in the state.

The situation is also being helped to a great extent by private FM radio stations, with many of them taking up various initiatives in the state. Stations are taking up the charge of informing listeners about areas where shelter is being offered, helpline numbers and minute-to-minute updates on the situation. Radio stations are also using social media to inform and spread awareness.

“With no electricity it was very difficult; we are running the station on the generator. Also with great difficulty the RJs have managed to reach the station.” Chennai Radio Mirchi cluster head Shyam Tallamraju said.

He further added, “We are getting many calls from people in areas that are flooded in Chennai; the roads are water logged and there has been no electricity in most parts of the city. We are in touch with the Traffic commissioner, who is providing correct information. We have people calling-in and telling us that they are stranded at various places, and we are providing them with information about food, aid and give them contact numbers that can help.”

Speaking about the change in programming due to current events, Tallamraju asserted, “We had planned special programs for December, but now they have been pushed back as our priority is to be with our listeners and serve them in the best way possible.”

Another radio station that is joining in the efforts is Radio City, which in association with House Joy, is offering services like electrical check-up, plumbing service, refrigerator and washing machine check-up, mosquito control and dewatering to help flood affected localities in Chennai like Velachery, Madipakkam, Adyar, Medavakkam, Pallikarnai & Kotturpuram.

As some of the localities have been submerged in water, Radio City is assisting them in dewatering their houses. The station has put out a number that people can call on to book for inspection.

A spokesperson from Radio City informed, “Apart from this, our RJs are trying and reaching out to maximum people on air asking them to share their details if they are stuck anywhere. Our volunteers will connect with them and bring them to a safe location.”

Speaking on their own efforts, Suryan FM’s RJ Kripa said, “We have not been able to run any programs or constantly update the flood victims as RJs are also stuck due to the heavy rains. Moreover, the radio station area is flooded, and has been barricaded.”

She added that the station’s morning show, which is a live show, is giving out information regarding helpline numbers and various techniques to move out of waterlogged areas. The remaining shows have been pre-recorded, and so they are playing at their scheduled times.