As per our mission to inform, connect and exchange, and with World Radio Day on Feb. 13, we thought we’d share this letter we received from Ram Singh Bouddh, director of the Mann Ki Baat Radio Museum at Siddharth Inter College in Uttar Pradesh, India. He has a passion worth fuelling.
The letter has been edited for style, and context added in places.
“Radio has been an essential tool for the capacity development of citizens and governments worldwide, fostering inclusive social development and aiding in achieving sustainable development goals through various schemes and programs. These are particularly prevalent in developing nations and aimed at supporting marginalized and downtrodden populations. Due to its affordability and convenience, radio is the most accessible device. In the form of community radios, it has once again proved its value in the era of AI and smartphones.
“I am from India and work to preserve the history of communication and entertainment through antique radios. My prime inspiration was the radio podcast Mann Ki Baat, a show by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in which he appears every month to directly engage with the Indian public, sharing stories of individuals doing exceptional work in their daily lives to inspire others. This program, which began in 2014, inspired me to start collecting radios. To date, I have amassed what I think is the world’s largest collection of different radio sets, totaling over 1,500 antique radios.
Passion, zeal and enthusiasm
“At 70 years of age, having traveled to every corner of India, I have assembled this collection at my privately run educational institution, Siddharth Inter College. Despite suffering three cardiac arrests due to the rigorous efforts involved in collecting these radios, my passion, zeal and enthusiasm for preserving this rich cultural heritage of entertainment and communication remain undiminished. This heritage has significantly shaped our lives long before the advent of the AI-dominated era, where smartphones have taken precedence.
“The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, and the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, have acknowledged my efforts and praised my Radio Museum during the 107th episode of “Mann Ki Baat.” On International Museum Day, the Prime Minister encouraged Indians to establish museums of various types to preserve and showcase India’s diverse and rich cultural heritage. Following this advice, I transformed my collection into the Mann Ki Baat Radio Museum, now recognized as a heritage trust and open to the public.
“Prasar Bharati, India’s state-owned public broadcaster, DD News and Radio Akashvani have extensively covered the museum’s activities at the national level. I have been interviewed by almost all Hindi and English daily newspapers and audio-visual media, including TV and social media. Australia’s SBS Hindi, which serves the country’s Hindi-speaking population, has broadcast my interview worldwide. Whether on National Broadcasting Day or Public Service Broadcast Day, I have been featured prominently, sharing my love for radio and the rich heritage I have preserved with dedication over the last ten years. The Government of India even honored me as a special guest at the 75th Republic Day Parade.
“I invite you or your team to visit this museum and offer me the opportunity to share my experiences and stories with the world. I will also attempt a Guinness World Record in the near future for having the largest number of different radios in the world.
“This message is intended to connect with the global radio community. I kindly request donations of spare radios for my museum, where they will be displayed as mementos with your or your organization’s name, along with the country. I am also eager to participate in programs focused on developing and preserving radio culture.
“With warm regards from India and its people.”
Should you wish to connect with Bouddh, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org