Survivor on the Airwaves: A Tale of human couragehttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/kolkata/survivor-on-the-airwaves-a-tale-of-human-courage/

Survivor on the Airwaves: A Tale of human courage

Looking at RJ Den today,you would be hard-pressed to believe that this gentleman only started to speak five years ago.

Looking at RJ Den today,you would be hard-pressed to believe that this gentleman only started to speak five years ago. But then,RJ Den (the radio jockey does not wish to reveal his real name) is a truly remarkable human being,a shining example of human determination and courage.

He suffers from a rare genetic disorder called Dopamine-Responsive Dystonia,which restricts his movement hugely and forces him to move around in a wheelchair. But that hasn’t deterred RJ Den one bit,from November 14 onwards,he’ll start hosting a radio programme on 91.9 Friends FM,called ‘Haal Chhero Na Bondhu’ (Never Give Up,Dear Friend) at 6 am,about positive thinking and how to live life properly. It will be a talk show where listeners can call in with their problems and RJ Den will do his best to provide them with a solution.

Den’s story is one of victory amidst all odds. As a youngster,he was afflicted with this disease when he was only one-and-half-year old — at that time the disease had not even been identified. Things started worsening from then; his movements were heavily restricted,as he says in the promo for the new show,when he asked his father Dr. Pabitra Deb Mukherjee about his future,his father replied,“This is the beginning of the end”.

But it wasn’t to be. RJ Den fought extreme adversity and thanks to the support of his parents and the Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy,he fought and ultimately became victorious. He can now speak fluently in Bengali,English and Hindi; he has finished his schooling and is currently pursuing Graduation in English,while being extremely proficient in Information Technology. He has even attended many conferences,speaking on disabilities and has presented various papers. And from Monday onwards,he will make history by being the first person ever — afflicted by Dopamine Responsive Dystonia — to host a show on radio.

“I am thankful to god that I get three square meals a day,tha’’s it. There are a lot of people in the country who do’’t even get that,and for that reason only,‘’m happy to be alive,” says Den at the official press conference of the launch of his program on Friday. Sitting alongside him was a beaming Jaideep Banerjee,General Manager for Programming & Brand,91.9 Friends FM .

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“Radio stations do bhajan shows,Rabindra sangeet shows…a lot of things in the morning. We wanted to do something different,” he says.