Hello Kashmir! Umar Nisar sets up an online radio

Tral (Jammu and Kashmir): A Class 10 student from this nondescript town in south Kashmir, notorious as a militancy hotbed, has developed an online radio application all by himself to highlight problems youth in the violence-ravaged state face everyday.

Umar Nisar, 15, studies in a government school in the town of Tral, which invariably is in the news for militancy related violence and shootouts between security forces and Islamist insurgents.

But that has not hindered this teen music buff from chasing his dream. “I went to school amid protests, shutdowns and violence. But that never stopped me,” Umar Nisar told IANS.

He said he learnt programming all by himself and the idea of writing a code for internet radio, Pannun FM International, came as he wanted to give voice to youth in Kashmir and also promote Kashmiri culture and language beyond the state’s borders where users can listen its programmes after downloading the android app from Google Play Store.

“This will be an inspiration for youth. It will also be a platform for them to explore their talent,” Umar Nisar told IANS. “I have invested my own money. But I am yet short of important equipments like microphones and computers.”

He said he is expecting advertisement revenue or an “angel investor” to raise money and set up a full fledged studio to create more programmes. As of now, he said, programmes are being done on a simple desktop.

“Pannun FM”, Umar Nisar said, would create a space where people from across the valley can share their problems about anything like electricity issues, water woes and stuff. And (it is) a source of entertainment also. After a lot of research and hardwork, I came up with Pannun FM,” he said.

The techie, whose father drives a tractor for livelihood and also owns a small apple orchard, said he took eight months to write the code for the online radio, available at www.pannunfm.in

The application airs programmes about the daily life in Kashmir and also hosts queries from school-children. There are musical programmes as well.

And to generate the content, Umar Nisar has roped in 10 of his friends, including students and local journalists who work free for the radio.

“My friends and some journalists help me with the recordings and collection of data. I do not pay them. They volunteer,” he said.

The “geek”, as he is known in his circle, wants to be a broadcast journalist and he hopes “that this project will help me become a successful one”.