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SANJHI AWAAZ: Promoting Punjabiat in Australia

Lalit Shastri 

SANJHI AWAAZ Radio is an online Punjabi radio station headquartered in Melbourne (Australia). This top radio station has listeners from all age groups of the Punjabi and Hindi, speaking communities in Victoria – the most densely populated state in Southeastern Australia. The listeners and avid followers of Sanjhi Awaaj are also spread across India and other parts of the world.

Shama Bhangu

Radio host Shama Bhangu, now a household name in the Punjabi community in Melbourne, is the architect, brain and force behind SANJHI AWAAZ. She launched the radio station six years ago to bring home to her listeners in Melbourne the fragrance, vibrant colours and life infusing music of the most vibrant of cultures worldwide that makes not just those from Punjab but every Indian feel so proud. It will not be an exaggeration to say that Shama is a true ambassador of Punjab in Australia.

Shama has shaped her dream of starting a radio station in melbourne, where she resides since 1983, into reality with sheer grit and determination. Her full-time 8 to 5 job did not leave much room to weave the warp and weft or put in place all that was initially required to run a radio station. But neither work pressure nor dearth of adequate resources could dampen her spirit.

Shama has a special word of praise for Gurdeep Singh for the technical support he has continued to extend for running the radio station from day one. In fact, it was together with Gurdeep that she started Sanjhi Awaaj, Shama told Newsroom24x7.

There was another radio Station – an AM radio station, which was on air 24×7 that prompted them to go live and since last one year there has been no looking back, Shama said and went on to share her dream saying she is determined and wants to start her own television channel that would focus on news as well as entertainment.

It wasn’t that easy when I started (the radio station) once a week every sunday. What began as a 2-hour, 8 – 10 pm slot once a week, became a 24×7 channel last year, Shama said exuding plenty of confidence. As a presenter, she has to come up with something interesting for the listeners every Monday for the 8 to 10.30 am slot. For this she picks up the subject revolving around social issues by talking to team members and interacting with the listeners and people.

Shama feels the strong relationship that she has built with her listeners. “When we are on air, we get a lot of interaction from the listeners from India, Middle-east, United Kingdon, the USA and Canada’ she said.

Sanjhi Awaaj uses the social media, including facebook and instagram to the hilt to reach out to the listeners.

The listners who love to remain glued to this radio staion describe it as Melbourne’s #1 Radio. The Sunday evening programme “Hello Zindagi” and the hourly slot of “Punjabi top ten songs” are very popular with the listeners.

Sanjhi Awaaj is also a trailblazer with the Virasat International Punjabi Film Festival & Awards a regular annual event aimed at promoting Punjabi films and filmmakers.

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