Friday, March 19, 2010

VU2RBI - Commonwealth Observance day :

Ham Radio in focus on Commonwealth Observance Day, Westminster Abbey, 8th March 2010.

The Royal Commonwealth Society had invited Mrs. Bharathi, VU2RBI, Chief Coordinator, National Institute of Amateur Radio (NIAR) to present a testimony on the eve of Commonwealth Observance Day, 8th March 2010 at the West Minster Abbey, London in the presence of Her Majesty Queen of England, Prince of Edinburgh, Prince Charles, High Commissioners of Commonwealth Countries and a group of school children etc., narrating her experiences in the field of Amateur Radio Communication and contribution to the society for promoting Science & Technology. It is indeed a rare honor and privilege to an Indian women amateur radio operator to receive this invitation from among the 54 Commonwealth countries.

After the ceremony, a tea party at Royal Commonwealth Society was organised, and followed by reception at Buckingham Palace, where she met Her Majesty the Queen of England. Mrs. Bharathi explained to the Queen about her involvement in the promotion of Amateur Radio Communication in India and the activities of National Institute of Amateur Radio, Hyderabad in the last three decades in disaster management. The Royal Commonwealth Foundation, London has shown great interest in promoting Amateur Radio Communication as a part of disaster management in the Commonwealth Nations.

Further, Ms.Bharathi met Mr. Dave Wilson, M0OBW, President of Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) and other Officials and exchanged the information on the subject of development of Amateur Radio Communication in India and UK.

Please find below testimony speech at the Royal Commonwealth Observance Day on 8th March,2010.

Communication is one of the most general needs of the society and the way we fulfil it has varied from smoke signals to telephones to satellite communications, but our main aims have always been the same -- that is to “say what we want” and “to hear when we wish to”. Though these may seem simple, but to achieve them when required has been one of the most important challenges of communication technology.

I have 30 years of experience in Amateur Radio communication, which I adopted in 1980 under my guru Mr. S. Suri, VU2MY, Founder and Chairman of National Institute of Amateur radio, supported by Ministry of Information Technology, Govt. of India. I believed in promoting this subject by conducting training classes and demonstrations and introducing to youngsters to inculcate scientific thinking in their minds. Besides being a scientific hobby, Amateur Radio communication provides one with discipline and interaction between fellow amateurs and scopeto serve the society in the hour of need. To mention one such opportunity I intercepted an
SOS sent out by a team of four foreigners in distress in the Bay of Bengal and alerted the Navy who saved their lives.

I have closely associated my self with emergency communication through Amateur Radio during different disasters including the 2004 Tsunami in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Orissa super cyclone in 1999 and Gujarat earth quake in 2001.

I have been fortunate to have practiced all modes of communications covering voice, telegraphy, digital and satellite through Amateur radio during my career. Even in 2010, it’s a fact that telecommunication is still a very rare service in many parts of the world including Commonwealth Nations which has lead to a great divide between nations or even within nations themselves. It is also a fact that billions of dollars are being spent for development of telecommunications by various countries but the simple technologies such as Amateur Radio communications have been put on the back burner. I believe it is critical to promote Amateur Radio as a second line of communication, as it is a time tested means in case of emergencies and a scientific hobby.

Courtesy : VU2JOS, OM Jose.

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