Struggling to carry yesteryear charm amid staff, fund crunch
LUCKNOW: Remember how eagerly the entire family awaited the telecast of super hit ‘Bibi Natiyon Wali’ or the popular ‘Neem Ka Ped’ on Lucknow Doordarshan? Be it the daily news bulletins, new year eve programmes, farmer’s favourite ‘Krishi Darshan’ or the all time favourite ‘Rangoli’ Doordarshan has been a part of the lives of Lucknowites for over four decades.
The popular source of awareness and entertainment, Lucknow Doordarshan is now all set to celebrate its 41st foundation day on Thursday. Its reach has moved from the city’s boundaries to across the globe through satellite and the programmes of Lucknow Doordarshan are no longer limited to evenings alone.
Atma Prakash Mishra, programme executive, Lucknow Doordarshan, says, “It is more than a year now that Lucknow Doordarshan’s transmission has gone on satellite and can be viewed 24X7 from anywhere.”
But all isn’t that well. Finding it hard to sustain itself amid competition from an array of television channels, finance and staff crunch are what that have further increased its woes.
There isn’t a full time director at Lucknow Doordarshan for more than six months now. Sources say that there is a tussle between Prasar Bharti and the ministry of information and broadcasting which has restricted the inflow of funds for programme production.
New recruitments are also required to meet the growing telecast challenges.
Vilayat Jafri, former director, Doordarshan recalls, “You name a popular writer and artist and he/ she has been associated with Doordarshan in some way. Lagendary writers KP Saxena, Amrit Lal Nagar, Shri Lal Shukla, Rahi Masoom Raza and others have written for Doordarshan. Prominent artists including Bismillah Khan, Girija Devi and others have performed at Doordarshan. And it is for its quality that Doordarshan has been very popular.”
Jafri shared that programmes produced at Lucknow Doordarshan like ‘Bibi Natiyon Wali’ and ‘Neem Ka Ped’ were so popular that they were telecast from Delhi as well. ‘Darbare-doordarshan’-the new year programme aired in 1988 is still fresh in the minds of people, he added.
Satish Grover, former additional director general (ADG), Doordarshan, says, “Lucknow Doordarshan has always maintained its people connect and that’s how it has maintained its charm for all these years.”