Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
Ian Garner
Business Writer
12:00 AM 21st May 2024

Rangoli Radio A Vibrant Voice For The Hindu Community

Our business writer, Ian Garner, has been speaking to the people behind the community radio station, Rangoli Radio, to hear about the success of this small but perfectly formed broadcaster.

RR Directors at Studio Inauguration 02 Sep 2023
RR Directors at Studio Inauguration 02 Sep 2023
Nestled in the diverse tapestry of Leeds, Rangoli Radio pulsates with the rich sounds and stories of the city's Hindu community. This remarkable community radio station, broadcast in Hindi and English and established with a mission to entertain, educate, and empower, has blossomed into a vital platform that fosters connection, belonging, and cultural pride.

I spoke to Programmes Director Narahari ‘Hari’ Joshi and Non-Executive Director Rashik Parmar, who told me all about Rangoli Radio.

Hari described Rangoli Radio's vibrant soundscape and how it resonates not just through the DAB airwaves in Leeds but also across the globe via the internet.

A dedicated team of 48 passionate volunteer presenters creates a unique sonic tapestry. From haunting melodies of classical Indian music to the captivating blend of Bollywood melodies and Hindi poetry, alongside instrumental pieces that evoke a range of emotions, Rangoli Radio offers a vibrant window into Hindu culture.

Rashik described the station's significance, which extends far beyond entertainment.

Recognising the potential for social isolation, especially among the elderly, Rangoli Radio serves as a bridge, combating loneliness through engaging content and creating a sense of community. It's a platform where listeners can connect, share experiences, and feel a comforting sense of belonging.

Moreover, Rangoli Radio serves as a valuable resource for the community. Rangoli Radio ensures that listeners stay connected and empowered by keeping them informed about forthcoming events, cultural celebrations, and available support services. This commitment to community engagement strengthens the social fabric of the Hindu population in Leeds and beyond.

A RR Presenter
A RR Presenter
Rashik told me that, in addition to its core mission, Rangoli Radio offers a unique training opportunity for individuals to enter the world of radio. The station encourages a culture of mentorship, where seasoned presenters guide aspiring broadcasters. This nurturing environment is evident on the air: its youngest presenter is a remarkable 10-year-old who delivers a captivating weekly news bulletin.

Rangoli Radio extends its platform beyond the Hindu community, providing a space for collaboration and social good. Partnerships with St John Ambulance Cadets have resulted in impactful shows like "Save Lives on Air."

Hari explained that this programme empowers listeners with the knowledge of simple life-saving actions they can take in an emergency, potentially making a real difference in their communities.

Similarly, the popular "Role Model" show features inspiring individuals who share their stories and career paths, igniting a spark in listeners and raising awareness of the incredible opportunities available if they pursue their passions.

Through such initiatives, Rangoli Radio not only entertains and informs but also inspires its listeners to become active and engaged members of society.

Perhaps most importantly, Rangoli Radio bridges the generational gap. The station celebrates Hindu culture and traditions, providing a platform for the younger generation to learn about their heritage. This fosters a sense of identity and empowers them to embrace their rich cultural tapestry.

With a rapidly growing internet listener base exceeding 8,000 internet listeners, across over 140 countries, in addition to serving the 400,000 Leeds residents via DAB, Rangoli Radio has become a pillar for Leeds’s Hindu community. In a city renowned for its multicultural spirit, this vibrant station serves as a testament to the power of shared stories, music, and a deep sense of community.

Hari and Rashik are passionate about this fantastic community radio and invite all to listen on and enjoy the pleasure it brings to so many communities.