The pictures in the downloadable PDF file are of twenty happy Indian amateurs as they each are given an MFJ 9020 twenty meter SSB QRP radio. These hams are made up of school students, teachers, emergency coordinators and others that promote amateur radio in India. This was made possible by QRPers on two continents and MFJ Enterprises, Inc.
It all started at HamCom in Plano, TX when Ms. Bharathi Prasad, VU2RBI, Chief Co-Ordinator of National Institute of Amateur Radio ( NIAR) in India saw a NorCal 40A at the QRP booth. Bharathi works to spread amateur radio in India via conducting classes herself and assisting others in the country to do the same. She told Ken Evans, W4DU (U.S. member of GQRP and Vice President of QRP-ARCI) that she had recently graduated 18 school students from one of her amateur radio classes and all had passed the licensing test. They were lacking the means (as are many young Indian amateurs) to obtain radios to enable them to operate from home. Thus they are limited to occasional operating from club stations. Bharathi was trying to provide them with home equipment to ensure their continued interest in amateur radio. QRP radios seemed to be her solution as they are small and relatively inexpensive. Ken knew that GQRP was in possession of some Norcal 20s remaining from that project which gave radios to amateurs world wide. However, the hams in India needed SSB radios and the NC 20 was CW only. George Dobbs, G3RJV was contacted and it was decided it would fulfill the spirit of the original project to sell the NC20s and use the proceeds to purchase SSB radios for India.
GQRP members in both the U.K. and the U.S. assisted in the sale and money was raised to purchase twenty MFJ 9020 transceivers. The twenty pictures are a result of this effort. The current reports from India are that all 20 hams are now active and enjoying twenty meter SSB. They are also using the radios for training and demonstrations of amateur radio.
Special thanks go to Graham Firth, G3MFJ and Ken Evans, W4DU who coordinated the sale in the U.K. and U. S. respectively. George Dobbs, G3RJV for his willingness to provide the equipment to India. We also thank Martin Jue, K5FLU and Richard Stubbs, KC5NSZ, both of MFJ, for providing the club with a substantial discount on the radios.