Residents of Khar and the neighbouring suburbs will now make themselves heard through their own community radio station. This initiative, called Jago Mumbai 90.8 FM, has been started by the Union Park Residents’ Association, Khar (UPRA).
Currently, Jago Mumbai is an infotainment station that follows a four-hour per day format, and transmits within a radius of five to ten kilometres from its base in Khar.
“Ultimately, we’d like to be on air for 12 hours a day and transmit to the entire city, if the government permits,” says project consultant, Erica D’Souza. For everyone who can’t tune in, the station will also upload their content on its newly launched website.
The UPRA has enlisted the services of several volunteers for this project, including students, professionals, housewives and senior citizens. All of them are using it as a platform to express themselves, or simply as a means of contributing to society. “Qualifications aren’t necessary, it’s the inclination that matters,” says D’Souza.
One of the volunteers, Parinaaz Mubaraki, who is visually challenged, travels from Dahanu every week to record a segment. Says Mubaraki, “My show helps me raise awareness among those who can see, as well as visually challenged listeners. Jago Mumbai has given me a platform that no commercial radio station would have. The response has been so good that I have been sending copies of my scripts to those who are unable to listen to me speak.”
Funding for the project has come from several quarters. “Aamir Khan, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Priya Dutt and Anil Rao have been very generous. Chopra’s movies are very relevant socially, and even Rao has supported us in our anti-malaria campaign,” said Bharti Kakkad, Secretary of the UPRA. “They’ve helped us take off, and we now hope to advertise for local retailers to generate our own revenue,” Kakkad adds.
Some of the shows aired:
Chocolatecha Bangla/Chocolate Bungalow: Hosted by Madhu Raja, and aimed at providing infotainment for children.
Peace of Mind: Hosted by noted psychiatrist, Varkha Chulani, it is an interactive as well as informative show.
Open Mic: A platform to nurture homegrown talent, Srusti Rathod hosts this show, encouraging local musicians, writers and anyone else to showcase their skills.
Jago Mumbai: An upbeat breakfast show hosted by Peter and Sammy, which delivers socially relevant content with an entertaining twist.
Fourth Seat: Hosted by Geetanjali Naniwadekar, it is dedicated to Mumbai’s common man. It talks about his aspirations and the challenges he faces in his daily life.