By Pradeep Kumar
ITANAGAR, Feb 10: Arun Prabha, the 24th satellite channel of DD exclusively for North-East and dedicated to Arunachal Pradesh, presently linked to DTH (direct to home), but would be linked with Airtel and Vieocon soon for the global viewers to learn about this mystic land of Arunachal Pradesh.
Present service is provided through DD owned system while the other two are private service providers of DTH, a common platform.
This assurance came from Doordarshan director general Supriya Sahu, when she was addressing a meeting of staff in DD Kendra here after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the channel on Saturday. “We have already written to the central government in this regard and action would be initiated very soon for the spectators to have the views of ‘Land of Rising Sun’ as sun rays in this country first touches Dong in Anjaw district of this state,” she said in an exclusive interview to this daily.
Sahu had led a high level DD team, including DG (news) Mayonk Kumar Singh, DDGs Rajiv Sinha & Col (retd) Kalyan Das, ADGs P K Subash, P B Bhattacharjee & J K Chandela to ensure flawless launching of 17th regional channel of DD.
In fact, she remembered her last meeting here with me on 06.01.17 when she came to announce about launching Arun Prabha and had urged film producers and directors to come up with innovative proposals for programmes, serials, telefilms, documentaries etc and assured all submitted proposals of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim would be given utmost priority. She had advocated out of box ideas, saying “We are looking for innovative shows and documentaries. Give programmes that are of good quality and that can help you make your name in the world.”
Since its inception the DDK has come a long way as the foremost electronic media in the state to highlight current affairs and social aspects of the state, but still has a long way to go. The Arun Prabha would serve as sunepe suhaga. With the news service in place, the expectation of the people would go up – which means that the DDK staff should be prepared, lest they receive brickbats instead of bouquets.
On 5th February 1996, Union I&B Minister PA Sangma had inaugurated by the DD Kendra here but it had remained neglected either for want of staff or funds as New Delhi hardly paid any attention. Things moved only after then Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu had taken up the matter with I&B Minister Anand Sharam in December 2008. After deputy director Dinesh Kumar joined here in February2009, he started moving the higher ups to introduce news bulletins, a long felt demand of the people.
The DDK had succeeded in creating a niche among the Arunachalee audiences by its wide ranging programmes despite all odds. Since its inception, the Kendra has been playing the role of a public service broadcaster, enriching the ethos of this land while projecting and promoting the state’s cultural heritage.
Feedbacks and queries received by this author on either awareness programmes on AIDS on drug abuse or other flagship programmes, including NRHM, Bharat Nirman, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan of the UPA government or national days involving sections of the society, particularly the students, government officers, intellectuals and the media persons prove beyond doubt that the kendra made all possible efforts to endear itself to the masses.
Identifying themselves with the spirit of the people, the DDK staffs have traveled hundreds of kilometres to various interior places, including along the Sino-India-Myanmar borders at the call of their duty to assess the reach of centrally sponsored programmes.
The DD Annual Award-2007 conferred on Shishir Dixit (best cinematography), Niranjan Kalita (best sound) and Romen Borah (best editing) for DDK’s telefilm Oyaa (The Hidden Cry) and nomination of spot on ‘Mid-Day Meal’, jointly produced by Jiten Daimary and LR Das, as one of the best spots in the category gave national recognition to such endeavours.
The kendra, which currently telecasts 2½ hour programmes, Monday to Saturday, is planning to telecast a Hindi song programme titled Swaranjali from September 2, every Wednesday at 7.30 pm.
However, the much desired news service in Hindi by the DDK was introduced 13 years after the DDK was made functional.
In fact, I have been closely associated with DDK as DDK’s Arunachal Ki Aawaj, anchored by me to showcase uniqueness of this Himalayan state, telecast live between 2 to 3 pm through the DDK’s regional channel (Programme Production Centre, Guwahati) every Tuesday for a year during 2007-08.
The AIR, which started functioning ion 1st April 1986 from a type-IV quarters in Naharlagun with a 1-kw transmitter, but has marched ahead of the DDK to start its Hindi and English news bulletins. Interestingly, I have been associated with AIR since its inception as still work as an anchor to cover important events including assembly sessions.