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Wireless Community Radios
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Wireless Community Radios
A Wireless community radio in Dang district, 400 kms away from Ahmedabad, India, is bringing silent revolution in the region. The community radio is especially raising awareness among the tribal populace. Drishti has initiated the first type community radio in the region in partnership with Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan (KMVS) - a women's organization based in Bhuj in 1998. Now the radio station is successfully bringing awareness among the tribal community. According to Nimesh Khakharia, co-ordinatior, each programme talks about specific problems and the ways in which they can be dealt with. The aim of the radio is to educate them about various laws and rights, so that tribal people can make use of it while facing a corrupt official.
Soon, Punjab state will get its first community radio station. Guru Nanak Girls College in Model Town will become the first educational institute in Punjab to have an FM radio station of its own. The 'Guru Nanak Girls College FM Radio Station' would be operational by July 1, 2007, and it would be broadcasted on 90.4 Megahertz frequency. The college has set up a modern studio and a sound digital workshop, which is backed by a professional and talented team trained at Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia, New Delhi. The station will broadcast programmes on agriculture, science, community development, health, education, social welfare, environment, culture, women and budding artists.
The Jain Group of Institutions (JGI) announced the launch of Bangalore's first community radio FM station, Radio Active 107.8.
Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) will start broadcasting programmes from 107.2. The station will focus on issues concerning health, environment, development, scientific awareness, women welfare and social issues, in turn seeking to inform and educate while entertaining the public. Students will generate the content, while institutions, colleges and NGOs will work for the station like Voice.
Coming soon, community radio in Chandigarh, India
The Chandigarh (India) Administration has invited applications from different organizations to set up community radio in the city. The Chandigarh Administration has adopted a proposal started by the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting under which NGOs and institutes like ICAR, Krishi Vigyan Kendras, state agriculture universities and autonomous bodies would be given permission to run a community radio. The community radio is meant to bring small communities together, and focus on the common man's day-to-day concerns and help realise local aspirations.
Prison Community radio for the reintegration of the prisoners in Jamaica
The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) of Jamaica, Africa United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will inaugurate community radio in the penitentiary center for adults of Tower Street in collaboration with the Canadian Agency of International Development (CIDA). The project of community multi-media center (CMC) will support interactions between the prisoners and their family. UNESCO has ordered an ethnographic research-action to evaluate the use of these technologies like instruments of reintegration and education as well as the influence of the CMC on the relations between prisoners and penitentiary personnel. The results of the study would be published in a guide on the use of ICT in prison medium.
UNESCO launches school community radio in the Caribbean
The secondary school of Bequia has launched a community radio station in the Caribbean in collaboration with the UNESCO. The Community multi-media center (CMC) aims to establish school framework in the first initiative of the programme. It aims to stimulate teaching and the training while throwing a bridge between formal education and non-formal education. The CMC will provide various training programmes, including Internet, radiophonic production of contents, numerical assembly, preparation of scenarios, techniques of interview to students and teachers. The CMC will allow the pupils and teachers to express their ideas and their creativity. It will also support the production and the diffusion of contents in favour of the development and the autonomisation of the community.
Community Radio Policy guidelines issued by the Government of India recently, makes it possible for registered non-government organizations (as mediators for communities) to set up and establish community radio stations. The ecosystem is now at a very exciting phase. A number of organizations have been engaged in mobilising communities, to use voice as a medium of communication for reaching the masses. Community Radio India 2007 plans to bring the stakeholders, including the government, donors, civil society, academia, the private sector, and new incumbents together to reflect, debate and understand the opportunities and challenges. The forum will also explore ways to overcome the obstacles through collaborations and mutual learning, and chart out the next phase of operationlising the opportunities.
Who should attend
- Radio professionals
- Technical service providers
- Technology providers and suppliers
- Radio for development community
- Community Media Centre practitioners
- International support organizations
- Independent media journalists
- Potential community broadcasters
- Campus radio practitioners
- Project leaders
- NGOs interested in setting up CR stations
- Government Ministries
- All India Radio producers and reporters
- Communications for development professionals
- International experts and practitioners
- CR forums, associations and networks
- Make a strong pitch for giving prominence to Community Radio as an important area of ICT for development
- Help create an interface between communities and the government, funding agencies, and other broadcast media
- Take up their plea to provide more legitimacy and space to community radio as a strong and effective development communication tool
- Discuss issues and solutions that can help communities/organisations to set up and operate their own community radio stations
- Build a community of practitioners to be a knowledge pool for knowledge sharing, capacity building and advocacy
Community radio is today believed to be an important tool for social upliftment and empowerment of the marginalised. With that thought in mind, the Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA), the Asian chapter of Commonwealth of Learning (COL) is now preparing to launch 13 community radio stations (CRS) in South and North India during 2007-08.
Community radio refers to a type of radio service catering to the interests of a specific area, broadcasting material that has relevance to a local audience. The term has somewhat varying meanings. In the UK, it originated in the illegal pirate radio stations whereas in America, as well as in India, community radio is more commonly non-profit and non-commercial, often using licensed class-D FM band transmitters.
With the successful implementation of its pilot projects, first one running the only licensed CRS at Anna University, Chennai, and the second one in Kongu Engineering College, Erode, CEMCA is all set to repeat its success at Bhagwan Mahavir Jain Institute, Bangalore, on June 25 and at Holy Cross College in Tiruchirapalli on June 26.
Speaking about the target audience and the focus of the project, Sreedher Ramamurthy, Director, CEMCA, said: "Our target audience for the stations will be 1,000 women each. First we will document their knowledge, including their superstitions, and then our experts will guide them. Then we will set up the radio stations. At the end of the year we will take into account the change in their behaviour and attitudes."
While the universities/institutes would host and run the CRS, CEMCA would be the facilitator, helping with capacity building and baseline research. To be implemented in collaboration with the ministry of science and technology (MST), CEMCA is a nodal agency for MST and would use CRS to broadcast 'Science for Women' for a year at the community level.
According to Ramamurthy, who is the first person in India to initiate community radio, "Radio is not simply a tool for entertainment, but is also a great tool for employment and a medium for solution to local problems at the community level." He further added that the above-mentioned CRS would be a good source of hands-on experience for students of mass communication.