Have you ever heard of a FM station launched with just Rs 50? Well, there's one running at Muzaffarpur in Bihar. Though the owner, Raghav Mahto, earns little money from it, his station is growing in popularity.
It started with the repair of radio sets, from where Raghav picked up the tricks and since then, Raghav FM Mansoorpur 1, as his FM station is called is a household name.
Raghav has no license to run a FM station and thus, technically this station is illegal, but who cares? As long as his audience loves him and he is able to feed his family of five with the Rs 2000 that he earns from the station every month, Raghav is a happy man.
"CD nikala to dekhe ki agal bagal main catch kaar raha hai. Cordlessike dekhe, issi ko soch kaar apna banaye. Isme 50 rupiya laga hai. 3-4 part laga hai, Rs 50 rupaiya kharcha hai. (When we took out the CD, we realised that the radios in the neighbouring areas were also catching the frequency. Then we saw cordless mike and replicated it. The cost came to Rs 50 and required about three-four parts)", explains Raghav.
Within a 15 kilometer radius, nothing but FM Raghav tops the popularity chart. And the cost of setting up this station is unbelievable. Rs 50 is all he has spent to start his own FM station and it runs flawlessly.
"Welcome to Radio Raghav FM Mansoorpur 1, one stop entertainment solution for all. Tune in not only for your favourite filmi numbers, but also for information, which we think is crucial for you. Over to the anchor," says a voice on the radio.
The buck then passes on to the anchor of the Raghav radio FM station, Sambhu. "Namaskaar, main apka dost Sambhu. Aap sun rahe hain, FM Mansoorpur 1. Aap logo ko suchana dena chahate hai, aids chune se nahi failta, saiyam aur surakcha, aids se rakcha," ( Namaskar, this is your friend Sambhu. You are listening to FM Mansoorpur 1. We want to inform you that AIDS does not spread through your touch. Control and and safety, protects you from AIDS) he says.
An ardent fan of the FM station, Ashok is all praises for the radio station: "Ye manoranjan karta hai bada sundar, jaab jo gana chahiye kaah dijiye baja deta hai. (This is a very good means of entertainment. Which ever song you want, you tell them and they play it for you.)
For Raghav, this station earns little money, but he gets the love of his satisfied audience and he truly enjoys being their voice for free.