While COVID19 Pandemic has engulfed and halted the world, India’s public broadcaster Prasar Bharati with 30,000 humongous work force and more than 1000 Offices, Broadcasting Centres across the country has managed to prevent the spread among its employees and has remained operational with 24*7 news services, educational and entertainment programming, thanks to timely intimation by central government and early on preventive measures taken by the administration of Prasar Bharati.
Administrative response to COVID19
From as early as March 6th, 2020, when number of COVID19 cases in India was in 2 digits, Prasar Bharati exempted its employees from marking the bio metric attendance in Aadhar Enabled Biometric Attendance System.
On March 12, in another order on COVID19 precautionary measures, Officers and staff were asked to avoid official tours, Air Travel and Train Journey. They were asked to attend meetings through video conferencing/teleconferencing. The physical creation/movement of files in office was asked to be avoided. Work through E-Office was asked to be maximized to avoid physical files.
In March 17 order, assessment of manpower for ‘work from home’ by using e-office, e-mails and other electronic means began.
Based on preventive measures suggested by the Department of Personnel and Training, thermal screening of all employees began at the gates of Prasar Bharati offices on March 18.
On March 24 and again on April 1, Prasar Bharati CEO wrote letters to Chief Secretaries of all States and Union Territories, requesting support for operational continuity of Doordarshan and All India Radio’s broadcast services in view of threat of COVID19 outbreak.
In a March 30th order, Head of Offices of various field establishments of Prasar Bharati, Zonal Programme ADGs and Heads of Programme were made responsible to ensure that broadcasting activities were not affected during lockdown.
On April 9, Prasar Bharati’s employees donated their one-day salaries to PM-CARES Fund, making the total contribution a sum of Rs 3.5 Crore.
In April 14 order, installing Arogya Setu App was made mandatory for all employees working from office or in field.
On May 14, Prasar Bharati donated another sum of Rs 2 Crore to PM-CARES Fund.
Apart from these mentioned above, various other orders and instructions have been issued till date in accordance with Government of India guidelines in various phases of Lockdown.
All orders are chronologically listed in an annexure named ‘Orders’.
Broadcasting Response to COVID19
Fighting COVID19 from the frontline, India’s public broadcaster has done its bid in ensuring that people had an entertainment incentive in staying home during lockdown. Brining back nostalgic content which appeals to one and all was a step in this direction.
|UTTAR RAMAYAN||DD National||998|
|SHRI KRISHNA||DD National||176|
|THE JUNGLE BOOK||DD National||46|
|CHHOTA BHEEM||DD National||36|
|UPANISHAD GANGA||DD National||28|
|BYOMKESH BAKSHI||DD National||25|
|SHRIMAAN SHRIMATI||DD Bharati||11|
|DEKH BHAI DEKH||DD National||6|
Source: BARC India 2+. Avg Imp. Data till 8th May.
Keeping in view the high demand of DD classics, a new Channel DD Retro was also launched specifically for the nostalgia content. The channel has seen good response from the outset with improvement in viewership each week:
|Week||Weekly Impressions (M)|
Source: BARC India: 2+ All India. Weekly Impressions (in Millions)
Apart from bringing old and iconic content back on TV and Radio, All India Radio and Doordarshan’s news units, AIR News and DD News, have been keeping people informed and aware about the developments in fight against Coronavirus through their continued 24*7 services on TV, Radio and digital platforms – Prasar Bharati News Services and NewsOnAir App.
Doordarshan and All India Radio regional channels have aired Virtual classes for students missing out on Schools and Colleges. DD Sports brought back memorable old cricket matches, and aired interaction with Sporting legends. In few major highlights of Radio, Ruskin Bond narrated his celebrated stories on All India Radio and we made almost thousand Radio Plays available on local stations of All India Radio in local languages.
With these content, through Doordarshan network alone, Prasar Bharati has been able to reach Millions of viewers across India:
|Content Type||Count||Duration (hrs)||Reach (in Millions)|
Source: BARC India 2+ (Data from Feb 1st – 8th May)
Apart from the above, we carried PM Modi’s addresses to the Nation, which reached more than 116 Million viewers through DD network alone.
Most of these content mentioned above and more are available on our YouTube channels as well. Details of which are available in the annexure named ‘Content’.