Using radio to ‘Ram up’ support for the needy

Popular deejay: Ram taking a selfie with school students during one of his events.

Popular deejay: Ram taking a selfie with school students during one of his events.

PETALING JAYA: Fans of Tamil radio will recognise the deep voice of Jayaram Nagal, fondly known as Ram, not only as the voice of THR Raaga but also the voice that champions the plight of underpri­vileged members of the Indian community.

Since joining the radio station as a deejay in 2001, Ram has been using his work as a platform to highlight the struggles of the poor and needy, and reach out to the community to help the less fortunate.

From flood relief and life-saving cancer treatment to education assistance and stateless children, Ram has seen it all throughout his 16 years of community service.

“Our most recent case was a woman whose husband had used a sword to chop off her arms and legs during a nasty fight five years ago,” Ram said, adding that the man committed suicide after the incident.

He said the widow became suicidal and lost the ability to do simple things like washing dishes.

Her 19-year-old son dedicated his life to taking care of her and it took many years of rehabilitation before she was able to afford a pair of artificial legs and learned to walk again.

“I spoke to her on my radio show and after that, thousands of people offered to donate cash to help her get artificial arms and offer aid for her son’s education.

“Most importantly, many sent her messages of support and inspired her to continue living her life and that was the most rewarding thing she received,” he added.

On Ram’s radio show, he and a panel investigate cases to ascertain whether they ge­­nuinely need help before inviting them to the show.

This year, Ram and THR Raaga formalised this community service effort into a programme called Yetho Yenggalaal Mudinjathu or “The Least We Could Do”.

Through the show, he encourages people to do the least they could for the less fortunate, be it donations or words of courage, hope and strength.

“We want to formalise the programme to make it a permanent fixture on THR Raaga so the Indian community will have a safe place to seek help,” Ram said,

He thanked the radio station for being a staunch supporter of the programme, without whom he said he would not have been able to help change so many lives.

Ram invites philanthropists and corporations who want to do good to get in touch with him and his team.

“Come see us. We are always on the ground, we know these people and how they suffer.

“We will try to locate those in need and together we will help give them the help that they need,” he said.

Family Community , underprivileged