A news item published in United Economic Forum (Monthly Bulletin).

May, 1997


People is general know what HAM means. The three letters stand for Hertz, Armstrong and Macroni. HAM radio is a kind of wireless set. By using it one can communicate with the other HAMs throughout the world. Advantages of having a HAM are many , Developing self discipline, deriving personal enlightenment and acquiring special ability to do social service are some of them. The training enables one to have multiple contacts at a considerably low cost, using one's own tranceiver set at leisure. for the thr grown ups, widening of their professional, academic or business knowledge is another advantage. To become a HAM one should acquire licence from the Telecom Department, Ministry of Communications. Prior to that one should undergo training in Morse code, basic electronics and communication etiquette and procedure for a period of two months which is given at every District Headquarters.

Becoming a HAM is both a thrill and accomplishment to a student. Every educational institution stresses the importance and advantages of developing hobbies. HAM training is a socially and personally useful hobby. If the students are initated into this at an early stage like the school final or Plus Two, they will take to it like the fish to the water. HAM communication is more a skill and it becomes a part of one's habit if learnt early in life. Habit formation and skill learning go at a quicker and stronger pace when initated early, Skills and habits blossom later and play a dominant role in shaping one's personality and thought process. In this respect, HAM is a powerful hobby, particularly helping students enlarge their knowledge through the academic net by developing contacts with experts and experienced people in various areas. In this modern age of knowledge andinformation explosion, teachers and educational institutions alone are not able to satiate the ever increasing academic hunger of the hard working and intelligent students. HAM provides them with an additional powerful channel of contacts at their control and command for acquiring more and more knowledge. Also, the trining inculcates in them self discipiline and the habit of behaving respectfully and responsibly with other.

The sterling use of HAM training is in its making the students conscious of their social responsibility. During the natural calamities like the foods, the cyclones and the earch quackes, student HAMs can play a vital role. Also we see the students acting in a more dedicated manner than the beauracracy who are restricted by official procedures. A small country like Japan with a population of 10 crores has more than 15 lakh HAMs whereas India with a population reaching 100 crore mark has only 12,000 HAMs. The late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi who himself was a HAM, dreamt of ushering in a revolution in the field of communication.

Measure to popularise and to provide HAM training are to be taken up. To start with, well equipped institutions in the cities and the district centres may be helped to provide HAM training to their students. Slowly, the facilities could be spread out. It could be a surprise to know that Amitabh Bachchan, Kamal Hassan and Rajendra Prasad and the popular cine artistes are HAMs. Instead of feeling worked up that our youth are going astray, is it not better to do something concrete which helps them to be usefully enggaged, to develop self discipline and which also helps them widen their knowledge and outlook? In this context providing HAM training for students is a measure which is worth of some serious consideration.

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