Newdelhi:27/3/20:Prime Minister Narendra Modi has observed that public broadcaster All India Radio has a particularly important role to play in stopping the flow of rumours. Interacting with Radio Jockeys, RJs through video conference today, Mr Modi requested the RJs to work towards checking the spread of rumours.
Apart from spreading information about the views of experts and steps taken by the government, the Prime Minister also requested RJs to provide feedback about the difficulties and challenges faced by the people so that the government can proactively resolve them. He said, RJs have a great responsibility not just to disseminate and disabuse superstitions but also motivate people.
He appreciated the role played by the RJs in spreading awareness about COVID-19 and said it is praiseworthy that even in lockdown, RJs are discharging their responsibility and recording programmes from home. The Prime Minister said, through the reach of the programmes, RJs are like members of families of millions of Indian households.
People not only hear but also follow them. Prime Minister exhorted the RJs to disseminate positive stories and case studies, particularly of those patients that have fully recovered from coronavirus infection, and also inter-play such stories in different parts of the country, thus bringing the entire country together. He also asked them to showcase and constantly celebrate the contributions of the local heroes like police officers, doctors, nurses and ward boys at national level.
Emphasizing the importance of empathy, Mr Modi said, it is important to tell the stories of misbehavior with doctors, health care workers and airline staff due to societal fears of them being infected by the virus, so that such challenges are overcome. He also stressed the importance of educating the public about the dedication of police personnel who are working continuously to assist the public. He said that the public should cooperate with police, adding that while police should avoid usage of strong arm tactics, it is also necessary to enforce discipline. He added that 130 crore Indians should act as national volunteers in fighting the pandemic.
Prime Minister said that the government has announced a number of measures to assist the poor and under-privileged in this difficult time and it is important that information about these announcements reaches the intended beneficiaries swiftly and in a timely fashion. Mr Modi said, as mass communicators, the RJs can play a proactive role in informing their listeners about the announcements, along with educating them about social distancing and the importance of self-quarantine.
In their response, the RJs called the Prime Minister as a part of the RJ fraternity since he has been hosting the widely successful Mann ki Baat on radio since 2014. Pointing out the unprecedented response to Prime Minister’s call of ‘Janta Curfew’ and his innovative idea of thanking the front line warriors, the RJs praised the leadership fo the Prime Minister and said they would be happy to play the role of the voice of the nation in the battle against the pandemic.
Prime Minister also urged the RJs to work towards ensuring a constructive and positive attitude in society. He said that ‘an attitude of togetherness combined with positivity is the key to facing the challenge posed by COVID-19’.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar and Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Ravi Mittal also participated in the interaction.