Radio Quarantine an antidote for anxieties in time of isolation

Ravik Bhattacharya
coronavirus, coronavirus outbreak, coronavirus in kolkata, coronavirus lockdown, coronavirus india lockdown, quarantine, kolkata police, indian express news

Kolkata police official during mikking to maintain Corona virus related announcement , appeling to them 'stay home', at Narkeldanga Main road. (Express photo by Partha Paul)

Want somebody to lift your mood in the time of lockdown due to novel coronavirus (COVID-19)? Wish to share your quarantine experience and play original song or curated music to an audience? Tune into Radio Quarantine Kolkata.

A group of friends including professors, PhD scholars and filmmakers  have set up the web-based community radio station to help people fight lockdown anxieties. The aim is to bring people together who are stuck at home.

Participants can play home recordings, rattle out a monologue, take part in poetry or short story readings. Not even that, the station will also stream doctors’ recommendation to stay healthy.

Soon after the lockdown in Bengal was announced by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the group decided to launch the radio station which now has listeners not only from Kolkata but also from abroad. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had imposed a 21-day lockdown across the country.

“The idea took shape while chatting in a WhatsApp group. It is a lockdown time and everyone has to stay at home. These can be lonely times. We thought: ‘Why shouldn’t we come together on a platform where we can be in touch with friends and others, share our quarantine experience and get to know what doctors are saying about coronavirus?’ What better way than a community radio station!” said Kasturi Basu, a filmmaker and one of those behind the station.

A group was formed to decide the content and programmes on a daily basis. Through a hosting website, an online radio station was set up.

“It is not limited to listening to songs. We also have interactive programmes that will allow people to record themselves and their children can read poems or short stories. One can record music, home recording of songs and curated music with one’s own introduction. We are airing them. Interviews of doctors and mental health experts are also being aired. Some of us are taking turns with back-end work, others planning and recording programmes. All are working from our homes,” added Kasturi.

Launched at 4 pm on Tuesday, each programme is drawing up to 50 listeners with some from even London and US. The Facebook page of the radio station currently has 695 followers. The station primarily airs Bengali songs and at times, English ones.

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