A community radio station (CRS), run exclusively by rural women, became operational in a Gujarat village.

Known as ‘Rudi No Radio’ (Rudi’s radio), the community radio station started operating yesterday in Manipur village at Sanand, about 30 km from here.

The radio station, managed by Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), would focus on developmental issues like agriculture, health and water conservation, an official said.

This is the 49th CRS in the country and is named after SEWA’s first member Rudi who worked to spread the association’s wings to rural areas, a SEWA member said.

“The radio station would be managed entirely by rural women who have had no formal training in mass media. They would be producing all the programmes in the local folk style,” SEWA Academy managing director Namrata Bali said.

“We have observed that many women listen to the radio while they are working, be it bidi rolling, incense stick making, stitching or weaving. The combination of low cost and wide reach makes radio an ideal medium of communication in developing countries,” she said.

Since radio production is simpler and less expensive as compared to video production, sustainability would not be a problem, Bali added.