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Radio can help combat loneliness

(Photo: JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)
(Photo: JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

by Deep Rajah

Loneliness is a dark place. It’s like sitting in a room at night by yourself and feeling like this is eternity. Loneliness is the feeling like you are being alone. It’s a feeling that you are meant to suffer alone.

Almost all of us have experienced loneliness at some point. We are vulnerable to feeling lonely at any point in our lives.

Loneliness is often temporary, something we experience when we’re going through transitions in life such as moving to a new place, a close friend moving away or even something like starting a college.

For some people, loneliness cannot be easily resolved. For example, situations like the death of a significant other, living alone, divorce and so on.

Throughout history, within the Asian community, we have seen a large number of seniors move in with their adult children and grandchildren when they reach retirement age or when they are suffering from any illness.

Now, with a generation being brought up in Britain and coupled with a mixture of British values and Asian culture, the idea of a joint family can only be described as a dream.

With a generation living in accommodation that barely has enough room for themselves to live in, and both parents working fulltime with little or no outside help, we are witnessing a lot of new parents having had to fend for themselves.

There are different ways to help ageing adults combat their loneliness and feelings of isolation. One of them is through talk shows. Often via a radio, talk shows give both parties an opportunity to tell their problems from their point of view. Armed with a telephone and a host ensuring that both parties listen to each other, no matter whether you are the parents, children or grandparents, talk shows allow people from all sides to join and discuss their perspectives. It can help to take away the loneliness experienced by many people.

When my mother passed away some years ago, my father started to experience loneliness and feeling of isolation. I had no way but to leave my father alone at home as I had to go to work from early morning till evening, and often had to stay back for overtime.

In order to combat the loneliness he was experiencing, I thought of an idea and started to leave the radio on during the day as he wasn’t much of a TV viewer. Slowly but surely, the radio became his lifeline. He drew inspiration from the topics he heard on the radio and often at meal times, we would have lively discussions about the topics discussed on the radio.

I am not saying that radio is the medicine to cure loneliness, but it will certainly help ease the pain and fear of loneliness for people by letting them know that they have access to others to share their knowledge and experiences.

  • Deep Rajah hosts a daily talk show on Dilse Radio