With devotees from the world over thronging Puri for the annual nine-day Jagannath Rath Yatra festival, the religious event is being extensively covered by media. FM stations in Bhubaneshwar, too, have geared up in full force to bring alive the festive spirit and share the fervour with their listeners. The Rath Yatra festival began on July 4.
Radio Choklate, the radio initiative of Oriya daily ‘Sambad’, had a day-long live broadcast of the Rath Yatra festival from the main venue at Puri. Moreover, the FM station’s RJs also interacted with devotees at Puri and 10 destinations around Bhubaneshwar to get their views on the festival.
Radio Choklate Pravachan specialist RJ Parthasarathi, along with RJ Monita was in the studio conducting the entire show that day. The FM station played bhajans and chanting of mantras, as also held devotional talks at its Bhubaneshwar studio.
Monica Nayyar Patnaik, Director, Radio Choklate, claimed, “This programme was a history by itself as no other FM channel had attempted this type of coverage. Listeners were hooked to our channel. Foreigners across the globe, who had come down here to celebrate, gave us sound bytes, which were aired, giving a vivid picture of ‘celebration de grandeur’. People from all walks of life were eager to share their feelings of devotion with our RJs. With Lord Jagannath’s blessings, this programme got a lot of mileage from the local media. It was indeed a very happy and fulfilling effort by team Radio Choklate.”
Meanwhile, the Big FM team, too, was present at the venue and had exclusive sound bytes from Maharaja Dibya Singh Dev, key officials and messages from the chief priests. The Big FM team covered all the activities around the Rath Yatra for devotees not present in Puri. In fact, the entire process started 10 days before the Rath Yatra commenced, where the RJs covered the making of chariots, Snana Purnima (traditional bath ceremony of the Lord), pre-evening ceremony, etc., on air.
The Bahuda (return journey) and ‘Suna Vesha’ will also be covered on Big FM.
Vinod Bannerji, Station Head, Big FM Bhubaneswar, said, “We have finally achieved the pride of being the first ever private FM station to cover the Rath Yatra on air with the help of the on-ground activities straight from the Palace to the inner cordon near the chariots, and also highlighting the efforts of the administration and emotions of the devotees by speaking to them and putting the bytes live on air.”