A New Ham’s Perspective on Amateur Radio

In a message to the University of Michigan Amateur Radio Club’s mailing list, Vishal KD8DTF offered the following:

Hi everyone,

You may be aware of flood situation in India, especially in southern Gujarat, which is my home state. Until yesterday 70% of my home town, Surat, was flooded with water. In fact, there was 4 ft water level on the first floor of my house and about 10 ft water level on the streets of Surat. It is estimated that the water that flowed in 3 days through the city amounted to be the water required by the whole state for 3 years! This estimate is sufficient to give us idea of enormity of flood. There was no power, communications, and in some areas, no drinking water for three consecutive days. The situation is improving but there is still no electricity in major areas and phone lines are down. I still cannot call home on land-line, but cell phones are working on and off. This would’ve been the best time to make use of our favorite hobby of amateur radio and I really wish I could help people.

What inspired me to write this is the fact that there are indeed three ham stations set up in Surat, and they have been really helpful in saving hundreds of people from drowning, hunger and thirst. We all are pursuing such a wonderful hobby that can really make us proud. My association with this hobby has made me feel proud one more time, so I thought of sharing my thoughts with you all. To get more clear idea of the situation, please check the following links. These links are provided by a regional newspaper, which is in Gujarati. You wouldn’t need to know the language, because a picture is worth a thousand words.

Finally, the good news is that water is receding and situation is improving.

73, Vishal

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