FM radio shows take up causes, social problems

FM radio shows take up causes, social problems

RJs aspire for wider relevance by taking up campaigns against child abuse, body shaming and misogyny

FM radio channels, dominated by film songs, jingles and promotional talk, are now trying to explore social concerns as part of their programming.

RJs in Bengaluru told Metrolife they were connecting with listeners in more socially relevant ways.

Address child abuse, body shaming

Shruti, 92.7 BIG FM

We try to link our listeners with the authorities and solve problems.

‘Yochne Yake Change OK’ is an ongoing project. It tells people it is okay to accept their faults, face hurdles and move on. We launched it on March 25, and the response has been great. On this show, we talk about parent romance, child abuse, body shaming and other problems.

Last Christmas, we came up with an event called ‘B Santa’; we visited a bunch of people whose annual income was less than Rs 750 and donated toys to their children. Many private firms tied up with Big FM and did their bit.

We took up another project called ‘Wings for Women’ where we created awareness about sanitary pads. We went to government schools and spoke to the girls about menstrual hygiene. I asked listeners to donate one sanitary pad each, and by the end of three weeks, we had collected three lakh pads.

Zeishah Amlani

Don’t let misogyny in songs pass

Zeishah Amlani, 93.5 RED FM

I voice out my opinions indirectly. For instance, consider this Honey Singh song with the line ‘Let me grab you girl.’ I say, ‘You know, people just can’t say things like this and get away with it these days,’ and play the song. That is how I react.

Once I made a comment about something and a guy in no way related to it tagged my CEO on Twitter and wrote about it. Hence, we keep a bit low profile, but whenever there is need to speak up, we do, in our own way.

Espouse cause but entertain

RJ Pradeepaa

RJ Pradeepaa, 92.7 BIG FM

The thing is people listen to radio all the time. Even if it is in the background, it is still being heard. So, when we talk about social concerns, we put a thought into their minds.

The main problem now is that people are losing their mental stability. Helping them reduce their stress is our main responsibility. A lot of people call us and talk about their life.

Confessing, in turn, makes them stronger.

Having been an RJ for 14 years now, I have understood that to address social concerns, we should include an element of entertainment. This helps us connect with people better.

RJ Disha

Help communities connect

RJ Disha, 93.5 RED FM

Anybody taking up a social issue definitely makes an impact, but how big is the impact if only one RJ talks about it? I think the impact will be bigger if all radio stations pick up a cause and go to town with it. Only when there is a 360-degree approach will there will be a long-lasting impact.

Recently, we covered a Bihari festival in Bengaluru and a lot of Biharis called us up and shared their memories. We also got a Kashmiri musician to play a traditional Kashmiri instrument and many Kashmiris reached out to us saying they have booked tickets home as they felt nostalgic listening to the music.

Soon: Ambulance alert campaign

RJ Sriram Sullia

RJ Sriram Sullia, 104 Fever FM

As radio presenters we are in touch with the authorities and the people. We have worked with BBMP and helped fill a lot of potholes in Bengaluru. During the elections, we did a drive to help people enrol for voting.

We are planning another campaign to help make way for ambulances. Talking about traffic on radio is common, but through this campaign, we tell listeners the whereabouts of an ambulance so that others can make way for it.


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