The Mumbai tragedy has once again highlighted how the radio can be the most effective medium of communication in the time of crisis, be it floods, earthquakes, war, or terror strikes. With electricity supplies cut off, televisions switched off, one of the most effective way to get the message across is the radio. CR activists have been arguing for emergency radio stations in Bihar for a while now, but their plea seems to have got buried in some file – at least till the next tragedy will strike our country, as it surely must.

It is imperative that emergency radio stations are made active across our country. Every child must grow up memorising its frequency. After all, we learn that to call the police, we need to dial 100. So, why not ensure that 100 FM is the emergency radio frequency across the country. In times of peace, which is slowly becoming dubious at best, the station can broadcast safety programs - be they traffic information, traffic safety, fire safety, how to deal with emergencies etc.

What are we waiting for? The next terror strike? The next flood? The next earthquake?

First published on November 30, 2008

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