Radio MACFAST 90.4
Radio MACFAST-90.4, Kerala’s second campus-based community radio station and the 46th community radio station in India, is the community service arm of Mar Athanasios College For Advanced Studies Tiruvalla (MACFAST) in Pathanamathitta district.
Launched on November 1, 2009, Radio MACFAST has always been a partner friend of the common man who constitute its massive listener base. Meanwhile the nearly eight-lakh listener base of Radio MACFAST has grown up further with the launching of a user-friendly mobile application two years ago. And now, Keralites across the globe very well make use of this mobile application and enjoy our radio programmes, wherever they be.
Focussed labour at grassroot level can lead to creation of a knowledge society – from the urban to the rural and vice versa. Bridging the Knowledge Divide, in the real sense. Radio MACFAST-90.4 maintains a strong presence in Central Travancore region that spread across the four districts of Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Idukki and Kottayam.
This campus-based FM radio station broadcasts community-oriented programmes 18 hours a day, making itself a trendsetter of its own kind among its peers. Airing development stories, especially related to farming, environment conservation, rustic sports, arts, music, culture, heritage, education, health, hygiene, etc, Radio MACFAST has carved a special niche in the listeners’ heart.
True to its punch line, `naattukarku koottayi’, Radio MACFAST aspires to be a partner friend of the community, the common man. The radio acts as a useful platform for socio-cultural and national integration that offers voice to the voiceless. Our mission is to create a civil society rooted in social values.
Radio MACFAST 90.4 has become a trendsetter in the community radio segment through its wide range of programmes.
Our mission is to work towards creation of a civil society with a growing sense of community values, facilitating a positive transformation in the society through community development, reconstruction and national integration.
Radio MACFAST 90.4 Initiated Programmes
1. CLEAN AND GREEN TIRUVALLA PROJECT
Radio MACFAST-90.4, in association with Tiruvalla Municipal Corporation, has launched this project in 2010 with a mission to make the community properly aware of the importance of keeping the environment clean, healthy and hygienic. Upholding the policy of green initiatives, Radio MACFAST-90.4 and MACFAST have organized a series of programmes and talks under this project over the past one decade. The radio station has even coined a slogan: `Not In My Backyard’ (NIMBY) but `In My Backyard (IMBY)’, prompting the people to develop a healthy waste disposal culture. The `IMBY-NIMBY’ slogan has become popular through various radio programmes and public awareness campaigns hosted by Radio MACFAST-90.4. The community radio station still continues the Clean and Green Tiruvalla programme. The civic body in Tiruvalla has received the State Government’s prestigious award, `Nava Kerala Puraskaram’, in recognition of its ecofriendly waste disposal programme in 2020. Hailing the civic body’s progressive approach towards scientific waste disposal, RADIO MACFAST -90.4 has prepared and broadcasted a programme, `Waste: Wealth in a Wrong Place’.
3. WAR AGAINST DRUGS
This is an ongoing project of the Radio MACFAST and its parent body, MACFAST, to make the community aware of the disastrous effects of substance abuse. Experts attached to the Excise department have been taking awareness classes at MACFAST auditorium for the past five years. Radio MACFAST has prepared and aired promotional audios (promos) cautioning the community of the ill effects of substance abuse.
5. RADIO GRAMAM
As part of its community upliftment initiative the Radio MACFAST-90.4 has adopted an underdeveloped hamlet, Koombanmoodu, in the Upper Kuttanad panchayat in Thiruvalla taluk in 2020. This area, situated below the mean sea level, is surrounded by water all sides. The hutments are pitched on the clay bunds along a canal and the water-logged paddy fields house as many as 14 poor farm workers and fishing families. The living conditions of the families at Koombanmoodu is pathetic. Lack of basic amenities, especially scarcity of potable water, is the major issue faced by them. Radio MACFAST-90.4, in association with the Thiruvalla Social Service Society and the Krishi Vigyan Kendra attached to the Indian Council for Agricultural Research at Thelliyur in Pathanamthitta district, has chalked out a plan to provide drinking water to Koombanmoodu as its pilot project in the year 2021-22. A preliminary round of discussion in this regard was held with the Peringara grama panchayat authorities in January, 2021. The local body has agreed to co-operate with the Radio MACFAST in adopting Koombanmoodu as a Radio Gramam, by making budgetary allocations for supplying a mini water treatment unit to all the households at the hamlet. Radio MACFAST is also exploring the possibility of developing rural tourism in the area, linking a Whatsapp group of youngsters at this hamlet with the District Tourism Promotion Council. The panchayat president, Mr Mathen Joseph, has agreed to include budget allocation for tourism development in the area. A radio programme, `Unexplored beauty of Upper Kuttanad’ under its flagship community development programme, `Nattinpuram’, was aired twice in November, 2021. Another programme, highlighting the sad plight of these villagers, too was prepared and broadcasted in November, 2021, inviting much listener attention in the last quarter of the year. The community radio station, in association with the National Service Scheme unit at MACFAST and the Kallada Eye Hospital in Thiruvalla, has organised a free Ophthalmology camp for the villagers at Koombanmoodu on March 14, 2022. A total of 21 villagers attended the camp. Radio MACFAST has provided quality school bags, note books, pencils and pens to 15 school children at the hamlet in January, 2022. Thee community radio station has also decided to set up a radio kiosk at the Radio Gramam, besides organizing workshops and classes to the villagers on fish farming, paddy and hybrid vegetable cultivation.
7. MEDI TALK
`Medi Talk’ is yet another radio programme under the `Arivum Athi-jeevanavum’ project of the radio station that has become popular during the COVID-induced lockdown period. Medical professionals belonging to Modern Medicine, Homoeopathy and Ayurveda provide medical talks that give information to the listeners, clearing their doubts on various aspects of COVID-19 and other major health issues.
Radio MACFAST has been broadcasting `Nattinpuram’ programme on various development stories, highlighting various socially and ecologically relevant issues, on every Saturday and Sunday since November, 2020. Bridging the knowledge divide is the key concept of the Nattinpuram programme. A few popular Nattinpuram programmes aired during 2020-’21 are: * `Niranapperuma’:- Depicting the importance of the heritage village of Niranam where St Thomas the Apostle of Jesus Christ is believed to have built a church in AD 54. * `Viswa-darpanam’ :– An episode depicting the uniqueness of the world famous Aranmula Kannadi, the GI-tagged metal mirror in the heritage village of Aranmula. * `Santwana-sparsham’ – Another radio programme on the palliative care being rendered to hundreds of terminally ill cancer patients in Central Travancore. * `Waste is Wealth’ – An eco-friendly waste disposal initiative launched by the State award winning civic body in Thiruvalla. * `Darpanam’ – An episode highlighting the immense tourism potential of the picturesque Upper Kuttanad region of Kerala. * `Ramayana and Kannassa Poets’ – An episode portraying the ancient Trikkapaleeswarom Temple in the heritage village of Niranon and the Kannassa Poets who have authored the first `Ramayana’ in Malayalam. * `Karuthalum Karuthum’ – A story highlighting empowerment of the differently-abled children. * `Sree Vallabha Temple` - A place of worship where Kathakali is an offering to the deity. A 30minute episode on the 12 centuries’ old Sree Vallabha Temple in Thiruvalla where Kerala’s popular dance-drama, Kathakali, is performed as an offering to the presiding deity on a daily basis. * `Ayroor Kathakali Gramam’ – A story on the Ayroor village, nestling on the banks of river Pampa, that has been declared as a Kathakali Village (Gramam) in Kerala. * `Tomato Revolution’ – A development story on the new wilt-resistant tomato saplings developed by the Krishi Vigyan Kendra attached to the Indian Council for Agricultural Research at Thelliyur near Thiruvalla.
4. HERITAGE AND CULTURE
`Paithrukam’ (Heritage) `Paithrukom’ is a weekly radio programme on various places of worship that has been identified as major heritage sites across Kerala. Radio MACFAST has been airing this weekly programme since the past 10 years. `Mitharom’ `Mitharom` is a weekly radio programme introducing various folk song and art tradition of Kerala to the listeners. ‘Kappoli’ Kappoli is a weekly radio programme that familiarises the folk art and dance tradition of Kerala. `Ragalayam’ A popular weekly radio programme introducing various raagas of the Karnatic and Hindustani music tradition. `Krishi Jalakom’ A radio programme on farming, sponsored by Krishi Vigyan Kendra attached to the Indian Council for Agricultural Research at Thelliyur near Thiruvalla. `Sthree-sakthi` Sthree-sakthi is a weekly women empowerment radio programme.
6. ARIVUM ATHIJEEVANAVUM : COVID-19 ACTIVITIES
Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdown, Radio MACFAST 90.4 has launched a project named `Arivum Athi-jeevanavum’, meaning `knowledge and sustenance’, with the sole intention of boosting the self-confidence of the common people who were in lockdown in their homes in 2020 and ’21. The Radio MACFAST-90.4 and MACFAST have distributed LED television sets to seven financially poor and differently-abled children at a special school at Kadamankulam near Mallappally on August 3, 2020, so that they can attend the online classes during the lockdown period.
8. PARTICIPATION FROM STUDENTS
Radio MACFAST also effectively utilizes its huge resource of students available in the campus. Nikshepa Jalakom and Digital World are the two programmes wholly performed by students at MACFAST.