A station for fishermen, by the fishermen of South India
Kadal Osai 90.4 FM in the state of Tamilnadu in southern India is the country’s first and only radio channel for fishermen that also raises social and environmental awareness.
Amstrong Fernando from Pamban town of Ramanathapuram district started the station, whose name means “The Sound of the Sea”, about five years ago. The station now has a team of 12 members.
Pamban Island is located between peninsular India and Sri Lanka, with a population of over 100,000, 80% of whom are engaged in fishing.
The 24/7 channel provides weather updates, information on potential fishing spots, local news, traditional music and promotes marine conservation. It also serves as a direct link between the government and the community to quickly solve people’s problems, from receiving government incentives to buying tokens for fishing.
The station also ran a successful initiative to conserve endangered species that often got tangled in fishermen’s nets with fish.
Radio Kadal Osai has started rewarding anglers with INR 1,000 ($13.35) if they release trapped turtles into the ocean while capturing the moment on their phone.
“It became a huge success. Many anglers have sent us videos of them releasing turtles into the sea. We give them cash rewards and also announce their names on the radio. It has also helped raise awareness about sea turtle conservation,” Gayatri UsmanKadal Osai station chief told TRT World.
“People no longer carry plastic bags with them. They are cautious and aware that polluting the sea would directly affect their livelihoods,” she added.
The station also raised awareness about pandemic issues and debunked misinformation about the virus.
Leninwho works as the channel’s programming coordinator, told TRT: “The radio has a great influence in the lives of the people who listen to it [compared to] Television, social networks or word of mouth. People recognize that there is little possibility of being misinformed about this medium.