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World Radio Day
By S Mukhtar
"Good Uncle, 13 February: World Radio Day."

"Yes dear, this year 2017 this is the 6th such Day."

"Uncle, how come the Day?"

"Dear, interesting. Further to a proposal by the Kingdom of Spain, UNESCO's Executive Board recommended the proclamation of World Radio Day to the General Conference which then, at its 36th session, proclaimed World Radio Day on 13 February. UNESCO's this proclamation was formally endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly during its 67th Session, on 14 January 2013."

"Uncle, 13 February chosen - but why?"

"Dear because 13 February is the date United Nations Radio was established, in 1946, and so was it proposed by the Director-General of UNESCO."

"Uncle, - this step was right?"

"Sure, very right. You see UNESCO had done a splendid consultation process. This involved UN agencies, UNESCO Permanent Delegations and National Commissions, broadcasting associations and international broadcasters, NGOs, academia, etc., and 91% were in favour of the project. Open support came also from International Association of Broadcasting (IAB), BBC, European Broadcasting Union (EBU), North American Broadcasters Association (NABA), Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU), African Union of Broadcasting (AUB), Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU), Vatican Radio, URTI, Organización de Telecomunicaciones Ibeoramericanas (OTI), etc. Academia Española de la Radio, leader of the project, received more than 46 letters of open clear support."

"Uncle that much importance to Radio - deserved?"

"Truly deserved. Worldwide, some one billion people still do not have access to Radio today but still this is the mass media reaching the widest audience in the world. It reaches even to remote and vulnerable poor peoples, the disabled, the illiterate, young and old men and women all, and offers them a platform to partake in public debates heedless to their educational levels. Media convergence and new technological forms - such as broadband, mobiles, and tablets - have awarded a new importance to Radio. And all this makes Radio the first and fundamental requisite in emergency communication and disaster relief and all that at the lowest possible cost."

"What Uncle are the objectives of this Day's celebration?"

"Yes dear, the objectives: To raise awareness among the general public and media of the importance of Radio; To encourage providing information through Radio; To enhance international cooperation and networking among broadcasters etc. And dear, so as to achieve these objectives, the consulted stakeholders also proposed special radio programmes, radio programmes exchange, annual themes, a festival involving key partners, extensive use of social media, and a dedicated website enabling virtual participation."

"Great Uncle, all this so beautifully done and said… Congratulations! But…"

"What but?"

"I have some reservations."

"Say, please."

"Some Radios sometimes bury truth, partly or wholly, make truths of untruths, untruths of truths, slant news and comment, gush forth litanies of falsehoods - these are Somebody's mouthpieces. And so, Uncle, I only sometimes listen to Radio."

"When, for instance?"

"Great Uncle, mostly, when it is Rafi or Talat or Lata or Dolwal or Raj Begum behind! And Uncle, by their songs I too will celebrate this World Radio Day!"

News Updated at : Tuesday, February 14, 2017
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