Visually impaired radio jockey reaches out through his voice

By Ritika Sharma, IANS
Monday, February 21, 2011

CHANDIGARH - He cannot see but has always wanted to reach out to people through his voice. Now Rishi, 21, is doing just that, thanks to Panjab University’s community radio Jyotirgamaya that gave him a chance to host a radio show.

Enthusiastic and determined, Rishi, who goes by only one name, does not want his visual disability to come in the way of his dreams. “I always listened to radio and fantasised to explore the world with the help of my voice,” a visibly excited Rishi told IANS here as his programme went on the air recently.

Rishi received support from various quarters to realise his dream.

“We are grooming him as the first ever blind RJ and he is already on the track with two of his shows aired till now,” said Jyotirgamaya’s station manger Kanwaljit Singh.

Rishi, currently a student of B.A. first year in Government College, Sector 11, here, loves music. “Mohit Chauhan is my favourite singer and I wish to become like him some day,” he added.

Studying at the National Institute of Visually Handicapped (NIVH) in Dehradun in Uttarakhand till last year, he participated in workshops related to anchoring and announcements to make his quiet entry into the radio world.

Rishi hails from a village near Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, some 150 km from here. His family’s financial position is weak, but that has never stopped him from pursuing his dreams.

“We had a difficult time educating him and we hope he reaches where he wants. We don’t know how to help him in achieving his dreams but we do whatever we can. He has been a bright student, we will stand by him always,” his proud father Amar Dutt Sharma, a farmer by occupation, told IANS.

After his first show ‘Music and Masti’ went on air last week, Rishi has plans to base his coming shows on stress management, social awareness, drug abuse and other topics of contemporary interest.

“I want that my voice should not just be entertaining but also be informative and interactive,” he said.

Senior faculty member of Government College Rajesh Kumar Jaiswal said that Rishi was always a disciplined student and regular with his studies.

“Rishi is a good student and is better than many others despite the difficulty he faces. I have always seen him smiling and it is a matter of immense pleasure that he is getting a platform for showcasing his talent,” Jaiswal said.

When asked about the difficulty of managing his studies along with radio jockeying, Rishi said: “It is not difficult if you want to. Even if I devote eight hours for studying, 16 hours are left to do whatever I want to.”

Rishi, who wants to do his master’s degree in English, said that he would be happy if he gets a chance of taking up radio jockeying as a profession in the long run.

(Ritika Sharma can be contacted at

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