HAM Holds Its Own In The Age Of Cells
Hello! Hello! VU2LIC speaking … Who is on the other side?” This is neither a message from an astronaut nor secret communication between covert operatives. This is simply the way Ham radio enthusiasts chat with others of their tribe from different parts of the globe.
Before the era of the Internet and the mobile phones, there was Ham. Even after the Net has encircled populations all over the world and mobiles are snugly ensconced in most pockets, around 30 lakh people from around the globe communicate every day using Ham radio. In the National Institute of Amateur Radio located in Somajiguda, more than 100 persons gather everyday to chat with others around the world.
“Speaking on Ham radio is a hobby for some,” says S Suri, director of the institute. “You can talk to old friends and make new friends with this simple device. Rajiv Gandhi was a Ham radio user. So is Sonia Gandhi”. Ham radio has dedicated users even in the age of instant communications. Amateur radio clubs function in various parts of the country. The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology had recently taken the initiative to train more people in the use of Ham radio.
Two such centres have been established by the ministry in Hyderabad and Vuyyur in Krishna district. “The main aim of these centres is to train people and make them aware of the advantages of Ham radio,” points out Suri. He adds that Ham radio plays an important role in giving information during floods and cyclones. Fifteen members of the Indian Navy who are undertaking an adventurous world sailing expedition on a boat had recently taken training in the use of amateur radio in NIAR. Ham radios are going to be handy for these sailors as they can be operated even in spots where telephone signals don’t reach.
Amateur radio users are now eagerly awaiting the launch of the satellite Hamsat by the Indian Space Research Organisation in December. Ham enthusiasts feel that this satellite would help them to speak without signal break. “Once this satellite is launched Ham will become one of the most effective modes of communications,” says NIAR assistant director S.B. Ram.
“You can talk to old friends and make new friends with this simple device. Rajiv Gandhi was a Ham radio user. So is Congress chief Sonia Gandhi” — S Suri
* National Institute of Amateur Radio conducts short-term courses in Ham radio speaking. Training for the fresh batch would commence soon.
* Interested may contact: 6-3-1092/93, Opposite Yashoda Super Speciality Hospital, Raj Bhavan Road, Somajiguda.
* The office phone number is 23310287.
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