“Hello! This is ‘Dil se Dil Tak’ welcoming its south Kashmir listeners.” The cheerful greeting in Urdu flows into homes in south Kashmir's militancy stronghold areas from the 'Radio Raabta' community station, providing not just entertainment but a platform for locals to air their grievances.
The Army, which has been instrumental in providing wings to the dreams of locals, set up the community radio station — 'Radio Raabta' (connect) — in Anantnag as part of its outreach programme to youths of the Valley, especially south Kashmir. It was the vision of Lt Gen BS Raju, the general officer in command of the strategically-located XV Corps, to establish a community radio station in Anantnag. It became a reality from New Year with radio jockeys — Umar Nisar and Aaisha Gowhar.
The 'Radio Raabta' 90.8 FM 'Dil se Dil Tak' has not only become talk of the Anantnag district, but the reach is 20 km in radius, covering parts of Pulwama and Kulgam districts as well. The station is playing Hindi and Punjabi songs after acquiring the intellectual property rights. "Soon we will have Kashmiri music after getting the rights for that," says Nisar.
The radio jockeys are providing informative snippets like traffic updates and weather, and interviews with local achievers, especially youths. "This has at least helped us in knowing what's going on in the immediate surrounding," says Umer Malik, general manager of Eden Hotel at Pahalgham.