Chennai, 1996 Nov 16:
HAM radio operators worldwide, especially those in the Southeast Asian region will have an opportunity to see in flesh and blood fellow HAMs, whose voice alone they might have been hearing all along, when the 'SEANET' - 96' (South East Network - 96) convention opens up 22 November.
The annual convention, which is being held here for the first time, will be didcated to Rajiv Gandhi, who was an active HAM (his call sign was VU2 RG).
The three-day meet will be hosted by the Madras Amateur Radio Society (MARS) and held at Hotel Savera.
Chennai Mayor, M.K.Stalin, will inagurate the convention and noted film actor Kamal Hassan, whose call sign is VU2 HAS, will make the first call from the convention sit (VU96 SEA).
Ms Sonia Gandhi (call sign VU2 SON), widow of Rajiv Gandhi, will be the chief guest at the valedicatory function on 24th November, during which several technical papers will be presented, M.Saravanan, Chairman of MARS, told a press conference here yesterday.
Describing this event as an unique convention, R.Ravikrishnan, organising secretary of the SEANET '96 said that the event will provide opportunities for HAM friends, whom they might have come to know through the wireless communication channel.
Dr. Gajapathi Rao, one of the organising secretaries of the convention, said that the convention was aimed at getting public attention into the activities of HAM's around the world.
He also said that MARS had won the opportunity to host the convention after bidding and winning in votes.
S.C. Babu, Secretary, MARS said that eventhough India is highly populated, the number of HAMs in India stand at 10,000 while in Japan it is nearly 3 million and in the United States it is about 1.5 million .
Apart from HAM being a hobby, it helps in establishing communication during times of emergencies like floods, cyclone, accidents or earth quakes, he added.
The flesh-and-blood contact termed "Eyeball QSO" in HAM jargon, will be the highlight of the convention.
About 200 delegates are expected to participate from countries like Germany, Singapore, Japan, New Zealand, France, Malaysia and the middle east.
The SEANET work will be a daily radio network which would commence at 5.30 p.m. (1200 UTC) on 20 mts. band everyday. At this time, HAM's from around the world would tune in and exchange information.
Technical papers are to be submited on various aspects of HAM and communication propogation by the visiting delegates.
The Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi was earlier scheduled to inaugurate the convertion. Since he has to despose before the Jain Commission on that day Stalin would inaugurate it.
Courtesy - News Today (Regional Newspaper)