The community newspaper of Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST), Naad has all the ingredients to become an education tool for rural masses.
Two issues of Naad, brought up by the varsity in January and May of this year, were circulated on pilot basis to a target audience.
“The response by readers was good,” said Chief Editor, Naad, Ruheela Hassan.
She is a senior assistant professor, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, IUST, Awantipora.
Naad is a Kashmiri word which means to call.
“This community newspaper is aimed at calling people to the path of progress and for that content having utility for community is considered for inclusion,” an editorial in Naad reads.
“Naad is the first initiative of its kind in Jammu and Kashmir by Islamic University of Science and Technology which will bring people from different sections of society together and at the same time function as a bridge between academia, people and administration,” it read.
The newspaper is published by varasity’s Documentation, Printing and Publication Centre under its outreach programme.
Talking to Rising Kashmir at IUST campus in Awantipora, Ruheela Hassan informed that Naad will be a monthly newspaper with research based news stories on different developmental aspects concerning the society.
“We are applying for RNI registration after which it will be brought up at a much larger level,” she said.
She added that the focus is on holistic welfare of the society.
“Health, education, technology for society, rural development, disaster management, environment, culture and tradition and entrepreneurship will be predominantly covered,” she said, adding that the newspaper is in Urdu, a language which is spoken by the majority of people in rural settings.
She said that the newspaper will be an education tool for villagers and for that reason it is brought in Urdu language.
“We want our readers to be informed citizens, we want to reach them with information which they can use for addressing their daily issues,” she said, adding that a lot of information is generated by different organizations but that may not reach the masses in rural areas due to language barriers.
“The publication of this newspaper is a step towards filling the communication vacuum in rural settings,” she said.
She explained this with the example of a gadget developed by engineering students of the varsity for persons with total hearing impairment. The instrument, in the shape of a wrist band, is named as SAAH, Situational Awareness and Alarming System for the Hearing Impaired.
“A half page was devoted to informing readers about SAAH in the first issue of NAAD.”
The instrument helps in alarming people with total hearing impairment by producing vibro-tactical signals.
The story tells that persons with total impairment cannot use hearing aids due to which they remain unaware of happenings in their surroundings.