Speaking at a commemorative event marking 50 years of public television in India, Soni underlined her ministry's commitment to making Doordarshan (DD) "more vibrant and interesting while retaining its commitment for healthy entertainment suitable for family viewing".
DD started broadcasting in India on September 15, 1959 when UNESCO gave the Indian government USD 20,000 and 180 Philips TV sets.
Soni sought suggestions from eminent filmmakers to rejuvenate the public broadcaster and invited stalwarts like Benegal, who directed the memorable "Bharat Ek Khoj" serial for Doordarshan, to contribute meaningfully to DD again.
Soni, who was participating in a conference organised by the Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT), a Delhi-based NGO, also exhorted young filmmakers to take up the challenge of making relevant programmes for the marginalised strata of society.
Soni stressed that her ministry would continue to encourage creative skills "so long as they honour the sensibilities of all single television viewing families".
She reminded the audience comprising filmmakers and television personalities that DD is the only channel with the widest terrestrial reach which caters to remote and border areas that are often neglected by other channels due to their commercial interests.
Celebrity director Adoor Gopalakrishnan's new film "Oru Pennum Randaanum", funded by DD, was screened on the occasion.
The Film Division grants funds to PSBT, which makes documentary films for DD. At least four joint productions of Prasar Bharati and PSBT won accolades at the National Non-Feature Film Awards-2007.
New Delhi: As Doordarshan turned 50 Tuesday, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni lauded the national broadcaster for catering to remote areas neglected by private TV channels and invited eminent filmmakers like Shyam Benegal to enrich it with their creativity.
First Published: Tuesday, September 15, 2009, 15:45