Radio club connects missing yatris of Ganga Sagar mela
It was not less than a nightmare for Rajesh Kumar Singh from Katras of Dhanbad when his ailing 70-year old father lost his way and senses at crowded Ganga Sagar fair, annual amalgamation of Hindu devotees, unless he got a surprise help from unexpected quarter, ‘West Bengal Radio Club’.
A group of enthusiasts driven by inherent social responsibility and humanity has so far managed to reunite over 16 such missing persons belonging to different parts of Jharkhand with their families apart from other parts of the country while using advanced and rare communication device—Amateur Radio. The device needs license from the Government after getting a proper verification done by the Intelligence Bureau.
“Deena Nath Singh was found in unstable condition at the mela last year and our team immediately took him to a local medical aid centre for treatment. We then took his details and contacted our volunteers located in different islands of Ganga Sagar through the Ham Radio and found his son Rajesh who took him to his home,” says Ambrish Nag Biswas, secretary of the club.
Biswas adds that numerous missing cases come to the club every year during the world famous fair which is set to start January 8 this year. “We face such a situation every year. This time around the club has introduced another innovative method and technique to ease the predicament of the lost elderly persons. A website ‘www.myham.in’ has been conceptualised and developed by West Bengal Radio Club to record the details of missing persons in Ganga Sagar Mela 2018,” he said.
The feature would help them locate persons coming from those areas of the country such as Jharkhand where language often comes as a bar. The missing persons can now record their details in the form of voice message in their own dialect which can be heard by their family members through announcement or by visiting the site.
“Website developers have incorporated the feature by which the reporting person can record the details of the missing person in own voice, directly in the website's page using his mobile phone. Since the pilgrims come from various parts of the country and their way of pronunciation is not always correctly interpreted by the person entering the details and recorded correctly, with this feature WBRC will use this voice notes in the missing person announcement. It will not only record the voice notes but also the system will auto convert the voice to text for records purpose and speed up the recording process of missing person,” said WBRC member Nilkhanta Chatterjee, who has developed the feature.
He quipped that the idea to bridge the dialect gap came from another person belonging to Santhal Pargana located in the mela. “We see huge footfall from bordering areas of Jharkhand and Bihar with West Bengal. Often the issue came to us so the new feature for this time would help us to serve such persons in distress even better,” says Chatterjee.
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