Radio Host Seeta Durjan Powered By 13 Years of Kindness
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Radio Host Seeta Durjan Powered By 13 Years of Kindness

Radio Host Seeta Durjan Powered By 13 Years of Kindness

Sharing and showcasing kindness has led Seeta Durjan to connect with listeners of her popular radio talk show for more than a decade. The host of “Viewpoint with Seeta and Friends,” who also is a nurse specializing in elder care, is determined to find the positive amidst the overwhelming negativism in today’s world. 

Having overcome plenty of negative situations in her own life, Durjan was a natural, it seems, for this radio life.

“I was on someone else’s show on WMEL and I was speaking about the Affordable Care Act, the pros and cons,” she explained about a guest appearance 13 years ago.

WMEL’s John Harper considered her such a natural for the medium that he suggested she get her own show. That sounded interesting, Seeta thought, even though hosting a radio show these days entails not just airtime, but “sell time,” seeking advertisers.

“I started with a half-hour and quickly went to an hour within two months,” she said. “We have had two guests every Monday from 1-2 p.m., 52 weeks per year, for the past 13 years. They have included politicians, authors, financial literacy folks, mortgage brokers, scientists, lawyers, doctors, movie producers and film directors, women’s rights and reproductive freedom advocates, accountants and tax preparers, retired FBI and CIA agents, teachers, priests, singers, actors, activists, nonprofit leaders, environmental folks, law enforcement and elder advocates.” 

Durjan considers Ellen Onieal, her co-host of 13 years, indispensable. They met at an American Business Women’s Association meeting.

“Ellen is the absolute best co-host and friend a person can ask for,” Durjan said.

The respect is mutual: “(Seeta) is the person you want everyone to model themselves after,” Onieal said. 

The two women keep the show homey and grounded. 

“It’s like being in your living room and people are coming in for coffee,” Onieal said.

“Resident guest” Ali Tambor, a friend of Onieal, joins the two hosts weekly. She, along with Samantha Nazario and Kim Meridith, fill in as needed. Many guests come back again and again after meeting with Seeta. 

Each guest has an individual agenda, yet Seeta uses razor-like precision to hone in on the constructive and productive content. The unscripted format puts guests at ease and makes for a fun educational experience for listeners.

“We are truly community radio,” Onieal said. 

While some of the guests, such as businesspeople touting a particular product, pay a fee to be on the show, nonprofits and advocates are invited free, thanks to support from regular sponsors. 

Seeta still works four days a week as a nurse in a skilled nursing facility. 

“I enjoy nursing, but I separate being a nurse from being a radio show host, and when I am at work as a nurse, I am strictly a nurse,” she said.

It was at the nursing home where her parents were spending the last days of their lives that Nilsa Guslawski first met Durjan. 

“I immediately took a liking to her,” said the Melbourne resident. 

When Guslawski’s father began a steep decline, Durjan gently helped the daughter face the situation.

“She told me it was time for me to let go,” Guslawski said. “She was there for me. She has a heart of gold.”

Durjan’s husband, Dr. Ahmed Begui, is a retired emergency room physician and her children long ago flew off to successful careers of their own. She continues to work because she loves it, but she grew up in a household where working hard was not just expected, but critical for survival. Old habits are hard to put aside.  

One of 18 children, Durjan grew up in Trinidad in a family constantly struggling to make ends meet. Durjan’s book “18 Brothers and Sisters,” available on Amazon, recounts how the blended family of Indian descent coped with the constant specter of poverty.

“My background is why I believe in birth control,” Durjan said. “My mother’s tribulations with domestic violence made me an advocate for women’s rights.”

Durjan’s book, a feel-good, coming-to-America story, chronicles her journey from scraggly 3-year-old to a young wife coping with domestic violence in her first marriage to the influential individual she is today.

“Poverty made me stronger,” she said.

It also focused her on being the best mother for her four children, now grown up into an attorney, an engineer, a businessman and a scientist. 

Once a friend of Seeta Durjan, it seems you are always a friend.

Registered nurse Ginny Keaveny met Durjan three decades ago when Durjan was working in a Chicago nursing home while husband, Ahmed, attended med school.

“She is vivacious and energetic and all about being friendly,” Keaveny said.

Even though Durjan moved years ago, the two keep up with each other, attending weddings and other special times in their lives. 

“She is just a gem,” added Keaveny.

During a time when the country seems hopelessly divided, Durjan refuses negativity.

“We live in the greatest nation on Earth, and I feel privileged to do my part to help,” she said.  

Durjan is ready for another year behind the microphone and is already booking guests well into 2023.

“It seems as if everyone has a story to tell,” she said. 

Durjan is ready to share those stories. 

Viewpoint with Seeta and Friends

Listen: 1-2 p.m. Mondays on AM 1510 WWBC, FM 94.7, FM 99.9 and FM 100.7

Online: 1510wwbc.com

Website: seetamediainc.com

Facebook: @ViewpointwithSeetaandFriends/  

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