When Nepalis reside abroad, they do miss a lot of daily haal-khabar and samaachaar of whatever happening back in their country. What political changes did Nepal go through lately, hunh? How are the industries booming in Nepal, kyare? Did our football players bag any major titles, yaar? Ke chha about Ram Krishna Dhakal's upcoming album, eh?
Such hot stuffs remain behind the curtains for those who are busy working, studying and living abroad for various other purposes.
But for Nepalis residing in Washington DC, United States, being updated with current affairs of Nepal has been no big deal.
We're not talking about reading news on websites. You might be surprised, but a few Nepalis in Washington DC have actually been running a Nepali radio station so as to make Nepalis abroad feel that they're updated well on their very own country's daily affairs.
It is called Radio Dovaan, a Washington-based community radio, which was launched in September, 2000.
Though it was Nagendra Poudyal, a Nepali scholar working as an engineer at NASA, who took the initiative to come up with an idea of launching a Nepali radio station, Radio Dovaan has a nine-member executive board of directors today.
While on his short visit to Nepal, Mukti Dawadi, one of the pioneering hosts of the station, shared with City Post: “During our earlier days, it used to be difficult for us to host a live Nepali show in a foreign country. But with time, dedication and the feedbacks that we received, we soon were able to broadcast a live show from our own station every Sunday for an hour — that is from 1 to 2 o'clock [US Time] in the afternoon.”
What kinds of shows does Radio Dovaan broadcast?
In answer, Dawadi replies, “At first, we play songs on different national values so that Nepalis in States remain attached with the values of their country. Soon after, we let people know about what's going around in Nepal. Apart from the help of our correspondents, we source out different websites such as http//www.nepalnews.com and http//www.ekantipur.com to compile the information. We also keep on playing various Nepali folk, modern and pop tracks in between.
“Apart from these, we also host a show called “Chirr Far” where we invite various Nepali politicians, business persons and other luminaries from different walks of life who are on their visit to the States to have a live conversation with us.”
When asked why Radio Dovaan is broadcast only once a week and that too for just an hour, Dawadi answers, “Yes, we wish we could broadcast it everyday. However, things don't turn out to be that easy as one might expect it to be in foreign countries. Though we do have support from Nepalis residing there, it's not sufficient to take it as a mainstream profession. As permanent residents, people are bound to engage themselves in various professions for their livelihood. Nevertheless, we're looking forward to making it two hours a week in the days to come.”
According to Dawadi, Radio Dovaan was launched because Nepalis abroad were almost going to lose their integrity and hardly spoke in Nepali. This made them decide to come up with a Nepali radio station.
Apart from catering news on events in Nepal, the program also covers community proceedings organized by Nepalis. Eight volunteers are currently working as part-time reporters and RJs.
Now, after all the basic information, you can actually sit back at home and tune into Radio Dovaan from its official website: http//www.radiodovaan.com at 11:15 pm NST (Nepal Standard Time).