Amateur Radio Newsline has announced the winner of its first "International Newsmaker of the Year" award - India's West Bengal Radio Club.
The group has 285 active members and goes beyond ham radio in providing community service. In addition to providing critical communications during natural disasters, the West Bengal club transmits election results from rural polling stations and teaches farmers how to protect themselves from lightning while working in the fields. According to Newsline, nearly all of the group's communications are done via simplex, as it has no budget for a repeater and sometimes borrows equipment from the National Institute of Amateur Radio in Hyderabad.
The Newsline "International Newsmaker of the Year" award honors amateur radio groups that have consistently shown leadership and commitment to the ham radio community.