South Asia

BBC Hindi service gets temporary reprieve

Picture shows Roshan, Shirin and Khurshid Vajifdar (foreground), three sisters who gave a song recital in the BBC Hindi Service to India; with them are (l-r) Sushil Das Gupta (flute), Krishna Kutty, S. Khanna, compere of the programme and Krishna Pennikar (tabla). 1952
Image caption BBC Hindi has been broadcast for seven decades

The BBC Hindi radio service has won a temporary reprieve after a high-profile campaign opposing plans to end transmissions at the end of March 2011.

The BBC World Service says it has been approached by a number of commercial parties about alternative funding.

It has now agreed to keep a one hour evening broadcast in Hindi for another year while it explores these options.

The campaign was supported by writers such as Arundhati Roy, Vikram Seth and broadcaster Sir Mark Tully.

Campaigners said BBC Hindi broadcasts, which were scheduled to end on 31 March, have 10 million listeners, many of them in rural areas.