A junior employee of a dairy firm has emerged as the main information gatherer for families of missing persons who had gone to disaster-ravaged Uttarakhand.
Since Sunday, Ambarish Nag Biswas has locked himself up in a room in Sodepur, on the outskirts of Kolkata, taking phone calls and sending messages through his radio set to the Dehradun and Mussoorie control rooms.
Even the district magistrate’s office is referring anxious relatives to him.
“I am relaying the messages with the names of missing persons to our radio operator stationed in Dehradun and Mussoorie. They are forwarding the messages to the army and authorities,” said Biswas, who had been a licensed amateur radio operator for the past 18 years and a member of the West Bengal Radio Club (Amateur Club).
“Distress calls are coming from people whose relatives are still missing.”
Amateur radio, often called HAM radio, is a service in which participants, called “hams”, use radio communication equipment to communicate with other radio amateurs through airwaves for public services, recreation and self-training.
Ujjwal Dasgupta, a missing person’s relative, told HT: “I got Biswas’s number from a friend, and came to know the whereabouts of my relatives.”