The Community Radio Service of GU
Community Radio is the third model of radio broadcasting beyond commercial and public broadcasting services. It broadcasts contents which are popular and relevant to a local or specific audience but often overlooked by other media. Radio Luit 90.8 FM is the first campus based Community Radio Station in the Northeast. It is a non-profit radio service. On 18th of January 2011, Radio Luit started its trial broadcasting. After some days, Radio Luit flagged off its journey formally on 1st march 2011. It serves for community development with the active participation of the communities in various aspects i.e. content management, programming and decision making of the radio station among others. Gauhati University obtained the license and frequency 90.8 FM from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India for the establishment of the Community Radio Station in its campus. Radio Luit operates 12 hours daily between 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM. In this radio station, the students, faculty members, and staff of Gauhati University and people from surrounding areas of Gauhati University play active role in managing this station. Radio Luit has a simple policy where anyone from the community can participate and it encourages more and more community participation. Moreover, students can also earn while learning about radio production at their own station. Radio Luit creates contents with the participation mostly of students and common people of its coverage area in various themes i.e. Educational, Health, Environment, Cultural and Community development as priority areas.
Radio Luit is not for profit and it endeavours to provide a mechanism for facilitating students, teacher, non-teaching staff of the university, their family members, and the members of the community hailing from the surrounding areas to tell their own diverse stories, to share experiences in a media rich world and to become active creators and contributors of media. This Radio station covers an area of approximately 15 km of radius from the premise of GU IDOL building, where the studio is situated.
After concluding a capacity building workshop and baseline survey, Radio Luit has started a one year project from 1st of March, 2016 on ‘Science for women’s health and nutrition’. This project is catalyzed by the NCSTC, DST, Govt. of India. Radio Luit has named it ‘Baandhobi’. Baandhobi goes on air three times a day with fresh episodes. With full participation of women, Baandhobi has shown the participants a path of confidence and joy of work with creativity. A year-long project, Baandhobi has now become a very good platform for women of all age groups to expose their talent.
Radio Luit, the Community Radio Station of Gauhati University has also been affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Its broadcasting stopped from 25th March due to unavailability of broadcasters most of which are the students. But, the team opted an alternative way of podcasting with the help of the existing Facebook Page of Radio Luit. It continued for 101 days! The students did it such a way that listeners thought that both are anchors were staying in a same house. But, in fact like others they were also residing in their own homes in different districts.
By this Facebook Live everyday from 6 to 7 PM, Radio Luit has reached a larger or different group of people. Some past students residing abroad praised this work by sending comments and messages. During this lockdown, Radio Luit has also produced some short videos on Corona Awarness in association with ASDMA which are aired in various TV channels as well as in social media. And also aired 50 numbers of Covid Bulletins namely Covid Barta on daily basis during the pandemic. Besides the Facebook podcasting, Radio Luit resumed its conventional broadcasting in 28th May.
From 2011 to 2021, Radio Luit has witnessed many up and downs. I we look back now, we see Baandhobi, Sarathi, Jeevika, Bhoomi, Jeevan Daata Brikkha Bidhata and many other radio series that have benefitted the community with participation, innovation and distribution of knowledge. Now, so many faces of students we can see that came out from their learning station Radio Luit and are now engaged in various dignified platforms of their career. We hope Radio Luit will continue its endeavour with cooperation and participation of the community with more power than before.