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Sunday, May 16, 2010

VU2MGS - 30 Years Of Ham Radio

Vu2mgs is the callsign of Manorita Singh, an amateur radio "ham" enthusiast. She is from a service background and has done all sorts of things from farming to tractor driving; ham operating to making radio antennas, oil painting to editing magazines and lots more. Although, her father was also an amateur radio operator, Manorita Singh took to this hobby after she married Lt. Gobind Singh of the Indian Navy, in February 1972, who eventually retired as a Rear Admiral.

“Ham operation is a very interesting hobby, which I have indulged in for the last 25 years,” she informed. Ham operation is basically two-way communication on the radio. All you need is a radio set, a microphone and a set of earphones. One would, however, be required to register with the appropriate department in the government and be provided with a personal license and code to operate on certain frequencies. One can then talk to anyone in the world.

Once, when she was on air, she suddenly received a message from an Australian ‘ham’ about an Israeli youngster, who was lost somewhere in the hills of Manali. Whilst she succeeded in informing the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi. A search was initiated, unfortunately, the boy could not be saved.

“The other incident is quite interesting,” she narrated to Salute. She had been chatting on the radio with a person from Switzerland for the past 15 years. He used to live and operate the radio from off a ‘dhow’ boat in South East Asia waters till he retired from the sea, and shifted to Goa. Last year in March they eventually met.

“My life has been a kaleidoscope of interesting experiences and incidents. Now I’m learning to play the piano, something I’ve always wanted to do.” I could not resist pointing to her age for such a venture. She disarmed me when she said, “62 is just a number, not my age!”

She is also working with an NGO, GOONJ. They collect and donate clothes to the needy throughout the country.

VU2MGS on CNN IBN-live video

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