Millennium Post

State scouts & guides exchange ideas with global counterparts

Kolkata: Scouts and guides from the state had a memorable experience as they got the opportunity to interact with their counterparts across the world through ham radio on the occasion of 62nd Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) – the world's largest digital scouts' event held at Ganganagar in North 24-Parganas. Members of West Bengal Radio Club (WBRC) — an organisation of amateur radio enthusiasts helped 350 scouts in the state who attended the event in this interaction. "The scouts, who have groups in many schools in the state, play an important role in disaster management programmes. However, being school students and having engagement in practical outdoor activities, like camping, woodcraft, aquatics, hiking, backpacking, and sports they hardly get the chance to be active on social media. So they look forward to speak to each other by means of amateur road to exchange scouting experiences and ideas. We are happy to provide them this platform," said Ambarish Nag Biswas, custodian and secretary of WRBC. This get-together of millions of scouts and guides over the airwaves for the annual JOTA is held every year on October 18 and 19.

"We interacted with scouts from countries such as Oman, Italy, Germany and Bangladesh. Among the states in the country we spoke with our counterparts from Kerala, Goa, Tripura, Pune, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi," a scout studying in Class VIII at St. Augustine School in Barrackpore said. The scouts attending the programme were from KG level to Class XII.

Many contacts made during JOTA have resulted in pen pals and links between scout troops that have lasted many years.

With no restrictions on age or on the number of participants, and at little or no expense, JOTA allows them to contact each other by ham radio.

Some of the scouts (both boys and girls) hold licenses and have their own stations, but majority participate in JOTA through stations operated by local radio clubs and individual radio amateurs who are licensed.

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