Playing with the air waves for 
friendship and yeoman service day
Come April 18 and amateur radio (HAM Radio) enthusiasts all over the world will celebrate World Amateur Radio Day to mark the formation of International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) in 1925 in France.

It was on this day, almost 100 years ago, that amateur radio communication gained recognition not only as a tool to foster friendship but to communicate SOSes in times of calamities like quakes, storms, floodings and tsunamies when normal communication modes through phones, mobiles and internet get disrupted.
"Today, amateur radio is gaining popularity gradually. Its patrons are growing but at a slow rate," says Lucknow's Mohammad Zubair, a HAM radio enthusiasts and licence holder for operating the vital communication tool. His licence is of General Grade with Call Sign VU2TDK 

"With HAM radio I am able share information and ideas with fellow Ham radio lovers. 
Besides the thrill we get while communicating on this unique link, we are ever-prepared to do our bit for society, if need be,"  Zubair said.

Zubair, co-ordinator in Mass Communication department at Lucknow's Integral University, says he wants to contact as many fellow HAM enthusiasts as possible through his HAM radio network. "At times, it's fun to contact and interact with unknown HAM radio licence holders and befriend them.

The contact takes places when our HAM radio gadgets connect to signals from gadgets of other licence holders when we pass through or go to a particular place or city." 

According to Dr. Satish Kumar (I.P.S.),  Commandant,  State Disaster Responce Force, Uttar Pradesh, "Ham radio enthusiasts are a boon for society, as they are equipped, as well as ever-prepared, to help in times of disasters by communicating essential information to those affected by such unfortunate events." 

D. C. Sharma (Call Sign VU2DCT), secretary, HAL Scouts Group Amateur Radio Club, Lucknow, says Lucknow has around 10 HAM licence holders and UP about 50. He organises training for interested persons, as well as scouts and guides of the state, and encourages them to clear the required test and secure a HAM radio licence "so that more and more HAM lovers can pursue their hobby."

According to information on IARU website, there are more than 30,00,000 licensed amateur radio operators worldwide.


There are many interpretations of HAM:
*The word 'HAM' was applied to the 1908 station call of the first amateur wireless station operated by some amateurs of the Harvard Radio Club. They were Albert S. Hyman, Bob Almy and Poogie Murray. At first they called their station 'Hyman- Almy-Murray' or HAM.
*HAM also stands for 'Help All Mankind' 


*Each amateur radio station or setup has its own unique call sign allocated by the authorities. The sign allows a licence holder to identify the person (station). For example: Call sign of a Mr Kamal Hasan is ‘VU2HAS’ where 'VU' stands for India, '2' stands for general grade and 'HAS' is the name Hasan. The call sign is a universal identifier. 

Mohd. Zubair, with Dr. Satish Kumar (I.P.S.),  commandant,  State Disaster Response Force, Uttar Pradesh, while displaying his HAM radio licence.


Indian HAMs used their skills to help out during Nepal quake, Gujarat quake, Orissa cyclone, Andman tsunami etc.

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