Sarang: Mangaluru’s ‘Namma Radio’

Sarang: Mangaluru’s ‘Namma Radio’

Recording underway at Radio Sarang. Photos by Author

At a time when television and other digital entertainment has taken off, one community radio station, Radio Sarang, in Dakshina Kannada provides up to 16 hours of original programming, in four regional languages — Kannada, Tulu, Konkani and Beary. 

Started in the campus of St Aloysius College in 2009, the radio station is run and managed by the staff and students of the college.

Its programmes touch on a variety of themes — education, health, social awareness, entertainment and the environment.

Sarang also has several live programmes. Janadani hosts a discussion on current affairs, while Radio Sanje is a phone-in programme for entertainment. Tallo Imallo, the weekly Konkani phone-in programme, introduces significant Konkani personalities; Tulu Chavadi is about Tulu language and culture, Hrudaya Raga is the Kannada programme while Maikkalto Phalaka is the programme in the Beary language. 

Ooru Keri is a fortnightly programme that introduces one locality or street of Mangaluru. 

“There are a lot of small villages and towns in Mangaluru, each with its own history. We highlight those aspects that are of interest,” says Abhishek Shetty, a staff member with Sarang.

The staff also refers to ‘Mangaluru Darshana’ brought out by the Mangaluru Urban Development Authority, who has information about the history and development of various localities in Mangaluru.

“So we take the written document and present it in the programme. We also speak to the elders of the locality and record their voices,” Shetty says.

Another flagship programme known as Vruthi Santrupthi presented the joys and sorrows of workers across different trades, like beedi workers, toddy tappers, cobblers, quarry workers, ambulance drivers etc.

One of the popular programmes at Sarang is Yakshagana and is played throughout the year.

An audience request programme called Olavina Haadu plays film songs and classical music during the day.

One other special programme was Bengreda Swara, dedicated to the people of Mangaluru’s Bengre island. Hello Wenlock was a weekly phone-in programme with doctors of Wenlock Hospital on health issues.

As there is no permission for community radios to broadcast news, Radio Sarang summarises the news published in newspapers.

Over 60% of the programmes are produced in-house.

“To become an RJ and speak on air was a dream for me and my dream was fulfilled after joining Radio Sarang,” says Raifa Abdul Aziz, an alumnus of the college.

Preethika J P, who interned at the community radio, says she developed communication and editing skills and understood how radio programmes work during her stint here. 

“Radio Sarang was one of the best platforms for me to learn some new skills and provided great exposure. I was able to write articles in Kannada, record and edit them on my own. My guide too helped me learn things quickly and get over my fear of speaking in front of the mic,” she says.

More than all this, Sarang’s best testimonial comes from its listeners, who call it ‘Namma Radio’.