Koraput (Odisha): Radio played a major role in creating awareness about cyclone Hudhud in the hilly and remote tracts of Odisha's Koraput district where people don't read newspapers or have access to television sets, thus reducing the number of casualties.
"Neither do we read newspapers nor do we have television sets to watch. It is because of the radio that we could know about cyclone Hudhud and its expected impact. Regular bulletins on the cyclone helped us a lot," said Madal Parlia of Majhiguda village under Boipariguda block.
Expressing similar views, Gunchu Durua of Talur village said, "On most occasions, our area goes without power and we mostly depend on battery-operated radio for news and entertainment."
Since October 9, the All India Radio (AIR) station at Jeypore started broadcast of special bulletins on Cyclone Hudhud with messages of the district collector on the precautions to be taken during the cyclone.
"Besides the special news bulletins, we had readied programmes on cyclone Hudhud for our listeners," Station Director of AIR (Jeypore) Krutibas Nayak said.
On October 12, when cyclone Hudhud made its landfall near Vishakhapatnam and passed through Koraput the entire district plunged into darkness with power supply being snapped and at that time AIR, Jeypore which transmitted cyclone related information uninterrupted became the only medium to update listeners about the cyclone, he said.
"For lack of power supply, people who never listened to radio tuned into it," said Nayak.
Also, UNICEF supported community FM radio Dhemsa situated at Koraput broadcast cyclone related information in tribal languages for the benefit of tribals.
"We had prepared cyclone based programme in Desia language so that tribals can easily understand it and the programme was broadcast from October 9 to 14,"said coordinator of radio Dhemsa, Sachida Mohanty.
Koraput district Collector Yamini Sarangi said, "It is a challenge to reach out to all villages in rural Koraput as these lie scattered. So, optimum use of radio was done in disseminating information".