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Pakistan's first student radio station a hit

ZABfm 106.6 with the mission of "education on air" is run by students in Karachi who do everything from conceptualising programmes to funding and presenting them.

world Updated: Apr 03, 2008 19:43 IST

Pakistan's first-ever 24x7 radio station by students has become a hot frequency on airwaves.

The non-commercial radio station - ZABfm 106.6 with the mission of "education on air" is run by students in Karachi who do everything from conceptualising programmes to funding and presenting them.

RJ Saba Ahmed does an environmental show "Scream Green" for 106.6 FM. Ahmed, a computer science student, cannot handle the technicalities, but does the research herself.

In one of her recent shows, Ahmed talked about global warming. "These are issues that affect us all but people of my age have little or no knowledge about them. I believe information is the first step to understanding a problem," she said.

The show itself has been a learning experience for Ahmed. A garbage truck is no longer just a garbage truck for her, but "toxic waste".

The radio revolution was launched by students of the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology in the southern port city about three months ago.

Alishah Asani, another RJ for the station, does a show called "Caf Entrepreneur" and gives tips to future entrepreneurs to set up businesses.

Asani, who finds RJ-ing difficult, says the best part about his job is the content that is not aired. "It is the off-air conversations that I learn most from," he said.

Though the going has been rather smooth so far, for the station it has had its share of problems. Often listeners complain that the audio is of poor quality because the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority has allowed broadcasts in only a 15-km radius.