Hello all. I am Shobha and I am a 1st-year college student pursuing my BA degree from Delhi University. I want to become a teacher and am taking additional courses for the same. I am writing this blog to share my recent experience of visiting the radio station of 94.3FM Radio One in Noida. I listen to radio every day, and often wondered what would it be like to speak on radio, how my favorite RJ looks, how does the sound reach us etc. This wish was fulfilled when I got a call from Smile Train and they informed me that they would like to take me on a tour of the radio station, on Children’s Day. I was very excited!
At the station, I met other girls who were also born with cleft lip and palate like me. Vaishnavi, studying in 10th standard shared that she was also born with a cleft but after the treatment provided by Smile Train her life had changed, just like mine. She shared that she wants to become a plastic surgeon when she grows up and provide surgeries to children born with cleft. This was so inspiring! I also met young Samira who is studying in 4th standard and was extremely shy! We were welcomed by Mamtaa ma’am and Anjali ma’am from Smile Train who were very happy to meet us.
Soon we met Alisha maam, the RJ who speaks on radio. I felt shy meeting her but she was so friendly and greeted us with love and affection. She asked us to introduce ourselves and interacting with her was very exciting! She then took us on a tour of the radio station and showed us how the radio works! She showed us the transmission rooms, recording rooms, production rooms and live studios. It was a great learning experience to be at a place where radio shows are recorded or played live!
She then interviewed us! I was so nervous! But I knew this was my chance to share with everyone that cleft was just a medical problem and which can be easily corrected with a simple surgery. Vaishnavi, Samira and I are examples of how a child born with a cleft can lead a normal life. I told Alisha ma’am that before treatment, cleft was the reason for a lot of challenges in my life. I had problems communicating, and would often be asked to repeat myself a few times before someone could understand what I was saying. This made me shy and I preferred to not speak. But everything changed when I was operated at Sant Parmanand Hospital with the help of Smile Train.
The one-hour interview was very exciting! I was nervous at the beginning but slowly gained confidence. I was inspired to see Alisha ma’am talking with confidence and happiness, and I want to be like her one day. The best moment was when she asked us to become RJs! She said now RJ Shoba will join us, and I was so happy! I still think about it and get excited. Here is a short video of one of my RJ stints!
Until now, I was only getting a chance to lead a normal life, but since the radio program aired on children’s day, everyone considers me a celebrity. Thank you Smile Train for first giving me a chance to lead a normal life, and then transforming it with great educational experiences like these.
The interview was aired on 94.3FM Radio one on November 14, 2015 on the occasion of children’s day. Shoba is Smile Train’s young patient from Sant Parmanand Hospital, New Delhi. She was operated upon by partner surgeon, Dr. SC Sood and is currently undergoing speech therapy and orthodontics at the hospital. After visiting the radio station, she momentarily considered becoming an RJ!
* The views expressed are those of the author. They may or may not reflect Smile Train's position.