World Radio Day 2021 is being celebrated throughout the world to celebrate the power of the medium and to raise awareness about the importance it holds. Prime Minister Narendra Modi who hosts his own radio show “Mann Ki Baat” took to Twitter and wished Indian people on the day.

With the hashtag #MannKiBaat, Prime Minister Modi greeted radio listeners and lauded the people who have kept the audio medium “buzzing with innovative content and music.”

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu also wished people on World Radio Day and said how radio is a popular medium of communication, information and entertainment. In 2019, Naidu also inaugurated the All India Radio FM station in Andhra Pradesh.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar also took to Twitter and posted a short video in which he can be seen extending greetings to people on the occasion of World Radio Day. In his video, Javadekar said that “Radio sunna virasat bhi hai aur anand bhi hai (listening to the radio is a legacy and joy).

Meanwhile, an Odisha local artist named Saswat Ranjan Sahoo is in the news for creating a replica of 1980s radio from 3000 matchsticks. Reportedly, Sahoo made use of around 3,310 matchsticks and spent 4 days building this beautiful artifact.

Sahoo was quoted saying, “In making this replica of the Panasonic stereo, I extend my support to all the radio programs and request all the people to listen to radio programs regularly. It took 4 days to built this replica using 3,130 matchsticks.”

World Radio Day Origin

World Radio Day is a celebration of the radio medium. UNESCO on November 3, 2011 declared that 13 February will be the World Radio Day to raise awareness about the importance of the medium. Later, the United Nations General Assembly adopted it as an international day in 2012.

Significance of the World Radio Day

According to UNESCO, radio remains a powerful medium which celebrates humanity and becomes a platform for a democratic discourse.

UNESCO in its statement writes, “At the global level, radio remains the most widely consumed medium. This unique ability to reach out the widest audience means radio can shape a society’s experience of diversity, stand as an arena for all voices to speak out, be represented and heard.”

It further states, “Radio stations should serve diverse communities, offering a wide variety of programs, viewpoints and content, and reflect the diversity of audiences in their organizations and operations.”

World Radio Day 2021 Theme

The 2021 edition of the World Radio Day has three sub-themes:

Evolution- The world changes, Radio evolves

This theme refers to how radio has survived the test of time due to its resilience.

Innovation- The world changes, radio adapts and innovates.

This theme refers to how the medium of radio has had to adopt to newer technologies over the years to remain the accessible medium to everyone everywhere.

Connection- The world changes, radio connects.

This theme refers to how the radio has helped society during natural disasters, socio-economic crisis, pandemics, etc.

The director-general of UNESCO also gave a statement on the occasion of World Radio Day where she said, “More than ever, we need this universal humanist medium, vector of freedom. Without radio, the right to information and freedom of expression and, with them, fundamental freedoms would be weakened, as would cultural diversity, since community radio stations are the voices of the voiceless.”

History of India’s very own All India Radio (AIR)

Not many people know this but Madras (now Chennai) created history in the world of Radio for India. Madras Presidency Radio Club (MPRC) was India’s first radio broadcasting club which transmitted India’s first-ever radio program on May 16, 1924.

The club was led by CV Krishnaswami Chetti. Chetti was a Manchester-trained electronic engineer working at the Madras Corporation. The main aim of the club was to generate interest and create a legacy in the study of radio communications in Madras.

In just three years, the club which started off with few amateur talents, started attracting professional talents who picked on the “radio wave”. Currently, All India Radio has over 400 radio stations that hold programs in 23 languages and 146 dialects. The broadcasting giant is also one of the world’s largest broadcasters in the world with a 99% population coverage.