AIR, Doordarshan play a critical role: Prasar Bharati Chairman

Chennai: In a country like India, public service broadcasters like All India Radio and Doordarshan play a critical role in ensuring the unity of diverse communities, Prasar Bharati Chairman P Surya Prakash said today.

“Many people ask me do we need a public service broadcaster? I say, of course we do. In a country as diverse as ours, with the given complexities, social and economic and so on, I think the public service broadcaster plays a very critical role in ensuring the unity of such a diverse community as we have in India,” Prakash said.

He was speaking at the 40th Annual Day celebrations of Doordarshan Kendra, Chennai, here.

Claiming that the All India Radio and Doordarshan through its sustained campaign on polio managed to get rid of the disease from the country, he said, “Through our radio and television, every 10 minutes you get this message asking people to take the little babies to the nearest primary centres for polio drops. I cite this as an example of what a public service broadcaster can do in any country.”

“Similarly, we in Prasar Bharati are committed to other programmes some of which has been launched by the Prime Minister in the last year or so.

“One of them is Swachh Bharat. About 70 per cent of households in India do not have toilets. You can well imagine what the implications are to the dignity of individuals especially women and security of women. But today given the government’s commitment and sustained campaign on All India Radio and Doordarshan, I feel confident that most Indian homes will have toilets in the next 5-7 years,” he said.

“I think this happened because All India Radio and Doordarshan are out there to take that message to the last man,” he said.

State Governor K Rosaiah said, “The growing competition in media world has paved the way for adopting new technologies to step up their telecast and to make quality programmes to make more and more people to view their channels.”

“What is worrying is that we see some TV channels deviating from their path. For the sake of entertainment, they bring about programmes which are of poor quality and that cannot be seen with family,” he said.

“There is also a deviation from moral and cultural values. Such programmes have a negative influence on society and in the long run they will deviate the people from the right path,” he said.