Radio is a very powerful medium, but unfortunately it is not being utilised, as it should be. The government should properly patronise it or privatise it, as the young generation is quite keen to learn about this medium and proper utilisation of this service will help them a great deal.

Shama Khalid, senior writer, producer, drama and short story writer shared this while talking candidly to The News about her experiences with Radio Pakistan to which she served for more than 35 years. She was associated with television, radio and Jang Group simultaneously in 1980s. Currently she is heading the Voice of Women (VoW) FM Radio Channel at Fatima Jinnah Women University in Rawalpindi. Earlier, she used to write a column Aurat aur Qanoon for weekly magazine Akhbar-e-Jahan .

Shama Khalid has six books to her credit namely Pathreelay Chahre published in 1980, Gyan Ka Lamha in 1986, Be chehra Shanasai in 1990, Gumshuda Chehron Ki Talash in 1995, Honton pe Dhari Kahanian in 2000 and Sookhe Pairh in 2011. She has also written her mother s biography, which was printed in a literary magazine Al-Hamra. Currently she s working on her father s biography and collecting relevant details for the book. Her books have been translated into English, Nepali, Hindi, Arabic and Punjabi. Shama Khalid a triple Masters belongs to a highly educated family from Batala s Mian Family, she is basically a Rajput by caste. Allama Iqbal wrote a poem Falsaf-e-Gham on my great grandfather. My father Dr. Mohammad Salah-ud-din was the first Homeopathic doctor in Rawalpindi, she said.

Shama retired from Radio Pakistan, as a deputy director after 35 years and knows the ins and outs of this medium. Right after her retirement, her husband died and she almost had a nervous breakdown when Fatima Jinnah Women University requested for her services. It s been five years she has been working with the university. Working with the aspiring students has given me a new life, as I know it is time for me to pay back to the society and this young generation is so thrilled to learn about this medium, she said.

Here in the university Shama is in charge of the Radio channel and three assistant professors are working under her. It is purely an educational FM channel with the daily broadcast of three hours from 12 noon till 3 p.m. I teach them how to speak on mike, control console and recording system, which is all computerised and expensive. The FJWU has the state-of-the-art Radio Station facility in Rawalpindi. It is well equipped and the scholarship students are required to give some hours to and get experience of working in the radio before graduating. She gave all the credit to FJWU VC Samina Amin Qadir and Media and Communication Sciences Chairperson Shamim Zaidi for the tremendous effort they have done in setting up an FM Channel at the university. She is also a visiting lecturer at the university teaching Media and Culture, pop culture, creative writing and drama. These courses are offered in different semesters in the Department of Mass Communication. Shama while explaining the content of the programmes on the channel said that it is basically an educational channel giving the awareness on health and education. We have never touch political issues but aware people about important social issues. The programmes are based on university curriculum and Behavioural Sciences and Department of Education conducts a regular programme on the channel. We conduct singing, drama and debates competitions on special occasions like August 14th and March 23rd etc so that students are thrilled to participate in it, she said.

Radio has produced legends and this is the basic training centre for the media persons, as the people from our radio have gone to international radio channels like BBC and Voice of America etc. They are not being utilised here therefore they go abroad for better jobs. The government should not neglect this medium as this is the only medium in which the sounds from our conscious mind to unconscious mind travels through radio. The importance of Radio is understood internationally therefore the President of America also addresses the nation weekly on radio, she added. Shama reiterated that the government needs to take drastic measures to renovate Radio and give incentives for its betterment. Our culture can be revived through Radio transmission, as it is still massively heard with interest.The news.

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