The time that Da Pulay Poray drama is broadcast – 7.30 pm in the evening – is, on the whole, a good time. It is prime listening time. However, as the old saying goes, you cannot please all the people, all the time.
That is why the broadcast of Da Pulay Poray drama is repeated, generally next day, in the morning. Some listeners, who are not able to listen to Da Pulay Poray drama at its main broadcasting time of 7.30 pm, might be able to tune in the next morning.
Listeners of Da Pulay Poray drama will be aware that PACT or Da Pulay Poray Radio does not have any radio station of its own. The broadcast of Da Pulay Poray drama, along with the repeat show, is arranged in collaboration with its broadcasting partners.
The main broadcaster of Da Pulay Poray drama is Arakozia Radio (90.3FM). Through Arakozia Radio, listeners from Helmand in the south-west of Afghanistan, right through to Kunar in the north-east, are able to tune into Da Pulay Poray drama. However, in this mainly Pashto speaking belt, there are certain black spots – areas where the signal of Arakozia does not reach. Prominent among these black spots are the capital – Kabul – and eastern Nangarhar, where the transmitter of Arakozia has become dysfunctional. In order to fill in these vacant spots, PACT Radio has resorted to other broadcasters – Spogmai Radio (102.2FM) and Spin Ghar Radio (89.4FM). These radio stations focus on Kabul, in the case of Spogmai, and eastern Nangarhar – Spin Ghar Radio – areas where it is important that Da Pulay Poray drama is heard, but the Arakozia signal does not reach.
Previously, all these broadcasting partners of PACT Radio were broadcasting a repeat of the drama – Spin Ghar at 10.30 next day, Spogmai at 11.30 and Arakozia at 12.30 pm. Sadly, due to heavy load on its broadcasting schedule, Arakozia felt it had to drop the repeat show. Ever since the repeat broadcast of Da Pulay Poray drama was dropped, listeners have been ringing in to PACT Radio, asking for the repeat show from Arakozia to be reinstated. This request has become even more insistent, now that the month of fasting has arrived. Many listeners are busy eating and drinking at 7.30 pm, and less able to listen to the drama.
The case of Azizullah in Gosha district is typical of other listeners. ‘Quite often,’ he says, ‘we are unable to tune in at 7.30 in the evening. If only we were able to listen to a repeat show next day, then we would not miss out on a single episode.’ Clearly, PACT Radio and its broadcasting partners are not able to fiddle around with its primary broadcasting time at 7.30 in the evening. Nor would this be in the long term interests of its listeners. Radio listeners are creatures of habit. They like to be able to tune in to their favourite shows, at the time they are used to. The 7.30pm broadcasting time is now cast in stone. Still, the fact remains, this time might be suitable for some listeners, at some time of the year; maybe less so for other listeners, at other times of the year.
What is more practical is the reinstatement of the repeat show. This point was not lost on one listener, Safiullah from Chaprahar in Nangarhar. Safiullah rang into Da Pulay Poray listeners’ hotline to point out that the time of broadcast clashed with the Isha call to prayer. In fact, since his call, with the lengthening of the days, it is clashing more with the evening prayer and breaking of the fast. He suggested that the repeat broadcasting time of 12.30pm be reinstated, so that avid listeners like him should not miss out.
This is our wish also, that the repeat of Da Pulay Poray drama should be reinstated. PACT Radio has also been making repeated and ongoing efforts in this regard. The best we can do, during the holy month of Ramadan, is pray for the reinstatement of this repeat show.