It was on the eve of Dussehra that I spoke with Anuradha, Presenter, Alfaz-e-Mewat – a Community Radio Station in Mewat. Though my objective was to interview her for this article, little did I know that her journey would find such a resonance with me. The significance of the said festival developed a deeper meaning – an understanding that a part of the ‘Divine’ resides in each one of us, and manifests itself in a variety of ways, when called upon.
A graduate in Maths, Anuradha never faced any opposition from her family as far as the perusal of studies was concerned. Her father’s dream was to see his daughter in the police force. However, life had other things in store. Losing her father at quite a tender age, and being the eldest child of the family, meant taking-on early responsibility of running the household.
Being intrigued by the radio presenters who visited the village often, interactions with the team lead to a kind-of-fascination with the medium, so much so that a chance visit to the station catalysed an opportunity as a presenter. How did she feel whilst facing the mike for the first time? “Well, I did not like my voice at all” says Anuradha with a laugh. “But, I learnt on the job. I enjoyed great support from other team members; and, of course, practice makes perfect. Now, I can safely say that I quite like my voice,” she adds with a chuckle.
A stepping stone in her career came through with an assignment at Alfaz-e-Mewat, a community radio station run by the Sehgal Foundation. “Alfaz-e-Mewat is not just a radio station for the sake of it; it has a clear vision and mission. Through this important medium, I reach out to a number of girls and women. This exercise is not just limited to the program, but beyond it, cementing a bond that is unexplainably deep. I have young girls calling me, inviting me over to their homes for a meal, looking forward to meeting me…what more can one ask for? This assignment has not only given me a platform to grow on diverse levels, helped me support my family, but also made me an integral part of so many extended families,” adds this vivacious presenter.
The challenges, like the rewards, have been many. Anuradha admits that staying away from her family has not been an easy task, but having responsibilities to shoulder have conditioned her to stay tough. “When I feel a bit sad, I visit my ‘extended’ families, and they boost me with their energy and support. I continue drawing knowledge from various media, as this helps me divert my mind, besides enhancing my general knowledge – something important for a presenter. Besides this, the fact that I can serve as some sort of an inspiration for other girls is a huge motivation for me too. They want to live freely and express themselves – something I can identify with,” adds Anuradha.
She elaborates further: “Through the voice of Alfaz-e-Mewat, I can serve as a beacon for others who want to face challenges boldly and bravely. However, an important point to understand is that challenges can be faced only if we understand them. Boys and girls must find solutions together.”
What next? “It is my dream to pursue by Masters in Communication. The Sehgal Foundation has given me this platform to explore myself, my strengths and my weaknesses; to overcome and to improvise as I go long. This is, exactly, what I hope to continue.”
Life is not just living, but living it to the fullest, beyond dreams and aspirations, living life King size. Beg your pardon, Queen size!