Sahithy Vani a hit with students

An effort started in November 2020, it is handled by children

Varsha S.S., a Class 11 student of St. Thomas Higher Secondary School, Mukkolakkal, regularly listens to 1.14 Sahithy Vani, a novel Internet radio run by children.

Varsha likes the story segment best, but what draws her to Sahithy Vani each week is that it is prepared and presented by children. “Their effort has to be appreciated. They must also be getting invaluable experience through this. They are an inspiration for all children.”

1.14 Sahithy Vani completed its 25th episode on Sunday. The celebrations were held on air in an episode that was nearly two hours long.

Launched on November 20, World Children’s Day, last year to keep students creatively engaged during the pandemic, the Internet radio is brought to students by the voluntary organisation Sahithy. Filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan formally inaugurated Sahithy Vani on November 25.

The ‘1.14’ in the name refers to the vehicle registration icon numbers of districts from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod in the north, says 1.14 Sahithy Vani director general Binny Sahithy who is also the secretary general of Sahithy.

But it is not only students from across Kerala, but also those outside and even Malayali students in the Gulf countries who are part of Sahithy Vani.

Sarvodaya Vidyalaya Class 11 student Alu Krishna, who is the station director, says besides a core team of 14, they have many other students who take turns presenting 12-odd segments. An online meeting is held every Monday to decided the week’s programmes. Alu’s main responsibility is to coordinate the presenters and their segments, including those shot by students abroad.

Alu listens to each segment along with two teachers who are Sahithy Vani’s editors, relays the corrections required, and then sends the corrected audio for editing before it can be uploaded every Sunday.

Alu finds all of it interesting. “We get to meet so many children, from the State, Bengaluru, and even Bahrain, and mingle with them and learn what their talents are. It is children who schedule the programmes and edit it. We learn interpersonal skills, coordination, and leadership skills.”

Mr. Binny says but for three of their presenters, none of them have come face-to-face in real life; all is digital.

The programme link goes to over 500 schools. The links also reach students through Facebook and WhatsApp. The bouquet of programmes include Star Chat in which prominent people are interviewed and Kurinjipookkal, a programme on environment in tribute to the poet and environmentalist, and a segment on main education news during the week. Students can also listen into songs, poetry, quiz, health, and beauty tips, cookery, and so on.

Sahithy Vani’s advisory committee includes George Onakkoor and Palliyara Sreedharan. Its editors include Saga James, Suja J. Sahib, and Naseer Nochad.

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