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Amateur Radio Operators from Andhra Pradesh Showcase ‘Make in India’ Spirit in Disaster-Prone Areas

Empowering Last Mile Connectivity and Disaster Preparedness through Amateur Radio

Nachugunta Island: In a remarkable initiative promoting last-mile connectivity and bolstering disaster preparedness, a dedicated team of amateur radio operators (HAMs) embarked on a significant journey from the cyclone shelters of Nachugunta Island, Andhra Pradesh, participating in the Island on the Air (IOTA) expedition. Their mission aimed at integrating HAM education in primary and secondary schools, emphasizing widespread adoption and enhanced disaster response across the country. Despite facing the challenges of a difficult and remote location, these enthusiasts showcased the spirit of innovation and resilience that truly embodies the ‘Make in India’ ethos in the communication sector.

The In-charge of the Wireless Monitoring Station in Vijayawada and the Head of the International Monitoring Earth Station in Jalna, Maharashtra, accompanied by an official from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) headquarters, visited the remote site. During the visit, they commended the steadfast dedication of the HAM operators, acknowledging their efforts as a reflection of India’s excellence in communication technology.

At the site, five Amateur High-Frequency stations and one Amateur Satellite station were set up using mostly self-designed and locally developed communication equipment, showcasing India’s commitment to the “Make in India” initiative. Operating from the disaster-prone village of Nachugunta Island (AS-199), located in the West Godavari District within the Vijayawada region of Andhra Pradesh, these operators utilized the cyclone shelters along the Bay of Bengal coastline as their base for communication.

During their expedition, the team of HAMs made approximately 4,000 global contacts with HAMs, including participants from the US, Canada, Germany, Japan, South Africa, Europe, South Asia, and more. This showcased their proficiency in establishing communication links across the globe. Moreover, they seized the opportunity to raise awareness about emergency communication preparedness, conducting sessions in local schools and villages to educate the community about the significance of effective communication during crises.

The success of this expedition not only highlights the technical expertise of the HAM operators but also underscores the importance of community engagement and preparedness in the face of natural disasters. Through their commendable efforts, the team has not only demonstrated India’s capabilities in the field of amateur radio operations but has also significantly contributed to enhancing emergency communication resilience in vulnerable areas.

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