Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, October 24
Having won a national award from Doordarshan for his documentary on legendary singer Surinder Kaur and accolades for producing a string of videos on Punjab Armed Police, Denmark-based Punjabi singer Anita Lerche, hockey Olympian Pargat Singh and global warming, Programme Executive of Doordarshan Agya Pal Singh Randhawa (65) has been a name to reckon with.
Now retired after having served for additional five years on extension, Randhawa cherishes the good old days with the public service broadcaster. At his house in Adarsh Nagar here, he has maintained a nice rack of all awards and trophies that he won during his 30 years of service with the DD. He has preserved all his certificates and citations well in a folder and has also preserved some records of videos of his work.
Randhwa shared: “Though I started working casually with the DD in 1977-78, my regular innings started in 1991 after I cleared my UPSC examinations. My initial training was as the sports producer for which I took sessions from NIS Patiala, learning about sports and its jargon to make a good commentary. My first big assignment was the coverage of 1982 Asian Games, after which I covered Commonwealth Games, Afro-Asian Games and international hockey tournaments on several occasions and got a chance to travel a lot with the DD teams.” He went on: “But my ultimate desire always remained to be a news reader. There was a slot but I missed that chance and it hurt me a lot. Then I took upon myself to achieve something bigger and finally got an opportunity to serve as the news producer. For over 20 years, it was I who decided the agenda for the following day and prepared rosters for the news readers. My name kept appearing as producer with most news bulletins”.
Having achieved one target, he set his eyes on another. “I got the desire to produce entertainment programmes too and finally got associated with one of the most popular music shows ‘Lishkara’, which I produced from 2002-06. The programme got the maximum TRP and all singers, including Hans Raj Hans, Malkiat Singh and Diljit Dosanjh, used to come to my channel. Having a background in economics, I put up a suggestion to make the show remunerative and from then on, every singer had to pay Rs 22,000 to the DD for getting his 3-minute music video recorded on the channel.”
Randhawa was also seen on the screen in the DD’s monopoly days as the anchor of shows including ‘Sajri Swer’, ‘Khaas khabar ik nazar’ and ‘Gallan te geet’. He also got a video album, titled ‘Sadke Punjab ton’, readied for Danish singer Anita Lerche. “It was a sheer chance that I came in contact with her through a Hoshiarpur-based friend. She was so quick at learning Punjabi that she began singing ‘Heer’ so well. She even took lessons in Punjabi from my wife, a Punjabi lecturer, and became a close family friend,” he recalled.