CHENNAI: Radio buffs in Tamil Nadu may have to wait longer for tuning to a unique FM station run by visually impaired persons with the National Institute for the Visually Handicapped (NIVH) keeping the plan "on hold".
Following the successful launch of an ambitious FM station, 'Hello Doon', showcasing the broadcasting talents of visually-impaired people at Dehradun in Uttarakhand, the NIVH functioning under the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment had proposed to extend its wing to Tamil Nadu. However, financial crunch has hampered the move, official sources said.
According to NIVH sources, the plans have been put on the backburner as necessary funds were not available for the FM station this year. “We are implementing a huge project to establish 30 Braille presses and revamp some, which is essential. Funds have been earmarked for that purpose," sources said. "Setting up an FM station is a costly affair. Henceforth launching the channel in Tamil Nadu could not be pursued," the sources added.
TN was chosen for launching the FM station in the south, thanks to the presence of NIVH's Regional Centre at Poonamallee near Chennai. The national institute was mulling an expansion of its FM service to Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh, as part of its efforts to open the doors of the world of broadcasting to visually-impaired persons. If things had progressed as per plans, Tamil Nadu would have been bestowed with the credit of becoming the first south Indian State to house the unique FM station with programmes created by visually handicapped youth.
'Hello Doon', the first initiative of NIVH became operational in 2012. The channel based at Dehradun air programmes between 7.00 am to 10.00 an and from 4.00 pm to 8.00 pm. The programmes are made by a mixed group comprising visually impaired people and normal persons. A programme titled 'Sangeet Shiksha' on Hindustani Classical Music, which is completely made by visually-impaired, had crossed almost 300 episodes last year. When contacted, NIVH, Dehradun Director Anuradha Mohit told 'Express' that plans on establishing the FM channel would be taken forward once adequate funds are available.