BBC World Service broadcasts Lifeline programmes in Nepal
In response to the aftermath of the earthquake in Nepal, the BBC World Service is now broadcasting additional programming on shortwave in both Nepalese and in English.
BBC Media Action – the BBC’s international development charity – is working with the Nepali Service on BBC World Service (radio and online) and local partner radio stations to broadcast ‘Lifeline’ programming.
Liliane Landor, Controller of World Service Languages, says: “Information is vital and we are doing all we can to make sure that our audiences in the affected areas receive their local and regional news as well as ‘Lifeline’ programming designed to give practical information to help deal with the aftermath of the earthquake.”
The Nepali language programme is available on shortwave as follows:
Nepali dawn transmission (01:30-01:45 GMT)
11995 kHz (25 metre band)
15510 kHz (19 metre band)
Nepali evening transmission (15:00-16:00 GMT)
9650 kHz (31 metre band)
5895 kHz (49 metre band)
The availability of World Service English on short wave to Northern India and Nepal has been extended with the service now starting one hour earlier than normal at 23.00 GMT.
Additional frequencies for World Service in English (to S Asia) from 23:00 GMT to 24:00GMT
5895 kHz (49 metre band)
9540 kHz (31 metre band)
From 00:00GMT the broadcasts continue as normal on 12,095kHz, 9,410kHz and 5970kHz
Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, John Drake, who shares this excellent article from ARS Technica:
“On Saturday, Nepal was shaken by a massive earthquake that registered a 7.8 on the Richter scale, causing widespread destruction in areas of dense population, and preventing aid workers from reaching more isolated villages in the mountainous regions. As of Tuesday, at least 5,000 people were dead and at least 10,000 were injured. Hundreds of thousands of people have been left homeless.
With any natural disaster, communication can often become a matter of life and death, and if phone lines are broken and cell towers crumble, relaying messages to the outside world and coordinating rescue efforts becomes that much more difficult. Add to that the fact that Nepal’s government is woefully unprepared to handle such a humanitarian crisis, and chaos reigns.
Still, some volunteers are trying to impose order on the chaos. After the quake, which shook cities in India as well as Nepal, volunteer ham radio operators from India traveled to the region to relay messages from areas whose communications infrastructure is broken or overloaded. Ham radio, also called amateur radio, is a means of sending and receiving messages over a specific radio frequency, and it is often used in disaster situations because it operates well off the grid; transceivers can be powered by generators and set up just about anywhere.
Amateur radio has taken a back seat with hobbyists in recent decades as other means of wireless communication have become cheaper and easier for people to use (you don’t need a special license from the FCC to operate a cell phone, although sometimes it seems like we’d be better for it if that were the rule). The decline in participation rates is unlikely to change substantially in the US, and the Times of India noted that awareness about ham radio is still low in India and nearby areas. Still, it has proven to be effective as a means of communication in Nepal in recent days.”
Transceivers like the Elecraft KX3 (above) are perfect for aid workers in need of communications in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Many modern transceivers (like the Kx3) can run for hours at a time off of battery packs, can be deployed almost anywhere and can easily be attached to amplifiers if needed.
It may take a license to operate amateur radio, but frankly it’s a fairly low barrier of entry. Morse Code tests are no longer required here in the US and all of the questions and answers are multiple choice and in the public domain. Indeed, I found the Technician (and former Novice) license test to be incredibly educational; especially with regard to radio propagation and basic electronic principles.
MUMBAI: In the wake of recent earthquake that affected Nepal and India, All India Radio (AIR) and British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) have designed special programming for affected areas of Indo-Nepal border and Nepal respectively. AIR is also transmitting services through their External Services Division (ESD).
AIR stations in Patna, Darbhanga, Gorakhpur, Lucknow, Gangtok, Siliguri, Guwahati, Delhi and others put out suitable programmes to generate awareness among the masses, particularly informing them how to tackle such situations.[…]