New Delhi : Radio Mirchi was awarded Silver at the New York Festival’s International Radio Awards held at a glitzy Manhattan venue. The New York Festival’s Awards – one of the media world’s most prestigious awards, which is now in its 54th year awarded the Mirchi Delhi breakfast show duo Saurabh and Anant a Silver for “Best Human Interest story” for their moving portrayal of Human Trafficking in India on ‘Hi Delhi’ – their daily morning show.
The international jury were moved by the way the Hi Delhi hosts dealt with the heart rending pain of human trafficking in the country. In a special show they featured an ex-sex worker who was sold into the trade – Rekha.
Rekha’s story was the story of a girl who was sold as a child, ending up in a GB road brothel in Delhi, the notorious red light area in the nation’s capital. She narrated her traumatic experiences as a sex worker and virtual slave – sold, abused and exploited until she finally fought her way to freedom with the aid of NGO Shakti Vahini. Rekha narrated the repeated threats to her life, her anxieties and anger at the trafficking trade and the collusion of state authorities that turn a blind eye to the plight of thousands of children who end up in the red light areas in Indian cities and towns. She described her escape to freedom and spoke about her current role as a crusader against trafficking.
RJs Anant & Saurabh, the joyous and proud recipients of the Silver Award said “Rekha’s struggle is a grim reminder of the reality of thousands of helpless women who are victims of human trafficking. Fun and jokes are important to us but we can’t turn a blind eye to such atrocities. It’s an honour for Radio Mirchi and the entire Indian radio fraternity to have been awarded and recognised in a world radio forum. With this acknowledgement Radio Mirchi has been able to make an impression amongst the world’s foremost public broadcast stations. It’s an outstanding beginning and surely paves the way for the years to come. “
The New York Festival is an award of its kind. At this scintillating occasion, about 182 finalists from the radio industry worldwide converged at a Manhattan venue for the awards and competed for top honours across 57 categories for creating break-through shows. Other winners this year included several renowned public and private broadcasters like the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio Television Hong Kong, the Voice of America, WNYC, ABC, ESPN Radio, Sirius XM Satellite Radio and Classic FM (UK).
With their exceptional triumph at the New York Festival Awards, Delhi’s favourite RJs not only made their fans and Mirchi lovers proud but also set a parameter for socially relevant radio that every commercial, format radio can integrate into their regular music and entertainment.