Dehradun: Confident that he has the gift of the gab, 25-year-old Deepu says he is blind but his voice can make people laugh and cry. He is among a group of visually-impaired youngsters being trained at a community radio station here to become radio jockeys. An initiative of the National Institute for the Visually Handicapped (NIVH), the 91.2 NIVH Hello Doon community radio is also providing experience to these youngsters on producing and hosting their own shows, thus opening up new employment avenues and fostering self-sufficiency.
The training programme is being conducted by the National Institute for the Empowerment of Persons with Visual Disabilities (NIEPVD).
Mr. Deepu says,
I have a lot of interest in this. A radio jockey’s work is not just playing songs or updating people, they make people cry and laugh. This is what I want to do. I am blind, I laugh and I want to make my audience laugh too.
The trainees have hosted a variety of shows, ranging from raising awareness about social issues to educational and entertainment programmes. Pappu (23), another trainee, expressed his gratitude for the opportunity. He said,
I came and recorded the best stories and tried to develop my working abilities with the opportunity provided
The true essence of the radio station lay not only in the empowerment of these youngsters but in their journey towards self-sufficiency and confidence. Chetna Gola, the programme’s producer said,
By opening up new employment avenues, the station aimed to make the visually impaired self-reliant and break the barriers of perception and opportunity
She clarified that the programme does not offer a degree or diploma but is more a platform for the visually impaired to learn about radio and explore it as a career. She further said,
Those people who were not being heard by anyone, today, when they hear their own voice or a song sung by them or when we use a script which they have written and, after editing, they hear the final product, then they have an unseen happiness on their face
NIEPVD Director Manish Verma said the visually-impaired trainees at 91.2 NIVH Hello Doon craft their shows with dedication and passion, writing their own scripts and producing their own shows on various subjects. They also produce some entertainment shows.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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