Anchor of Radio Salesian 90.8 FM’s popular show Yuva Awaz and co-host of Naulo Bihani live show RJ Rohit is no more. Rohit Rai hailing from Sibitaar Mahanadi, a village below Kurseong, was 22 years old. He belonged to the first batch of three interns and founding Radio Jockeys of Bengal and entire northeast India’s one and only college campus and community radio - Radio Salesian 90.8 FM being broadcast from Salesian College Sonada established in 1938.
“East or West, Rohit is the best,” wrote Radio Fan Club members in a recently held letter writing competition about Radio Salesian’s programs and RJs.
“I was the last one to see Rohit on Saturday as he stayed back in the studio to complete packaging Yuva Awaaz show,” says Station Director Fr C.M. Paul who encouraged him to go home to attend to his persistent tooth complaint.
Fr Paul recalls, “Rohit assured me that he would leave next day for home and attend to a nagging toothache on Monday.”
But on Saturday night around 2.30 am Fr Paul was woken up to the news of Rohit’s sudden demise during sleep.
RJ Samir Chhetri, his mentor and program coordinator at Radio Salesian wrote on the Facebook page, “We miss you very much and love you dearly. We know our God is taking care of you, and you are now one of his special angels. You are forever in our hearts, We can’t wait to be with you again...To live in the hearts of others is never to die. You will forever live in our hearts brother...”
Salesian College Principal Dr. George Thadathil wrote, “A great loss for the entire valley and our fledgling community radio and all at the team, and his listeners will miss him even as the family bereaves.”
Sunday morning most of the RJs reached to pay their respects to their colleague Rohit before his parents took the body to their village.
On Monday morning, all six RJs hosted a live show joined by some of his radio fan club members recalling their memories of Rohit, with voice and text messages coming on Whatsapp and calls.
Later the RJ fraternity went to Rohit’s home for the funeral.
Radio Salesian is keeping a memorial service at Salesian College Sonada for Rohit’s fans and friends, as well as staff and students of the college at 11. 30 am on Wednesday 8th March.