Listeners like Mr. Paramasivan did not just stop with listening to the Service; they also mailed the broadcasters, participated in the competition and won prizes, which included a trip to China. So much has been the overwhelming response from Tamil listeners that among all the international service in CRI, Tamil Service tops the list for maximum number of listeners’ letters.
"Last year CRI received 5.2 lakh letters, of which 3.5 lakh alone where from Tamil listeners for the Tamil Service," says S. Selvam, a listener from Villupuram. These listeners got together and have formed Anaithu Inthiya Cheena Vanoli Neyar Mandram (All-India CRI listeners’ forum).
"Every district barring Nilgris has got a listeners’ club," says Mr. Selvam, who is the club’s president. The listeners’ club conducts an annual meet in the State, which is well attended. "We are like a family and use that day to meet other family members," says Mr. Paramasivan. Not only that, the CRI encourages readers to participate in competitions.
Every year it selects a winner and sponsors a trip to China. For other listeners who regularly interact with the Service, it sends gifts. Given the popularity of the programme in the State, it appears that through air waves the people of the two countries have established a link much before the Governments agreed to open the Nathu La pass in Sikkim for trade.