I had before me the oldest radio in Bhutan currently owned by Mr. Karma Tshering. An electronic which Mr. Karma now consider a possession it is worthy for it is older to him. With a little research done on the radio history in the world and in Bhutan, this is about the oldest ludrom in the country.
Ludrom as in Radio has transformed society three times, not to mention giving birth to the entire field of electronics. Perhaps no invention of modern times has delivered so much while initially promising so little.
In 1885, a young Italian named Gugliemo Marconi invented what he called as the 'wireless telegraph' known to us today as the radio.
On November 2, 1920, KDKA the first commercial radio station in the United States went on air in Pittsburgh.
Radio was the first among the modern electronics to enter Bhutan. On November 1973 the first radio broadcast was commenced when the National Youth Association of Bhutan (NYAB) began radio transmissions under the name "Radio NYAB”. In 1979 the government took over Radio NYAB and renamed it the Bhutan Broadcasting Service.
The year 2015 marks the 42nd year after radio broadcast was commenced in Bhutan but story of the oldest radio in Bhutan reveals it entered the country 18 years before there were any local stations.
The radio Mr. Karchung from Bumthang who is now 77 years old owns can be authentically claimed as the oldest radio in Bhutan. Belonging to Philips brand it is one among the pioneer of radios. As a young trader at the age of 17, Mr. Karchung says he bought it from one on his visits to Bongaigoan, a state in Assam which was a buzzing town back then.
Those were the days of mule tracks and having to walk for days and moreover as a bachelor, Mr. Karchung is said to have found a perfect companion, the radio.
In those days Mr. Karchung recollects the attention he used to get from his friends for he owned the only radio among them. He remembers tuning onto the most popular All India Radio also known as Akash Pani stationed at a locality known as Kurseong in Darjeeling.
To insert the batteries it has to be done with precision as its screws has to be opened manually and accuracy to fit back the screws is needed. It works with the normal three pairs of batteries and is said to last for solid six months.
As the country is celebrating the sixtieth birth anniversary of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, the claimed oldest radio is also marking its sixtieth year in Bhutan.