KARNATAKA

This RJ wants to transform lives of the marginalised

reaching out:Radio has given me an opportunity and a platform to touch the lives of people, says Priyanka.— Photo: K. GOPINATHAN

reaching out:Radio has given me an opportunity and a platform to touch the lives of people, says Priyanka.— Photo: K. GOPINATHAN  

Priyanka, a transgender, works for a community radio station

After checking if all her pre-recorded ‘stories’ are in place and ensuring that her guests for live shows are in the studio, radio jockey Priyanka R. puts on her headphones, and with a bundle of energy announces “Namskara Bangalore”.

Ms. Priyanka, a 27-year-old transgender, hosts Yaaru Ivaru every Thursday on CR Radio Active 90.4, a community radio station. The programme focusses on the problems of transgender community.

Ms. Priyanka, who boasts being the first transgender radio jockey, says the medium has given her “a voice”. She juggles between the roles of a radio jockey, a programme executive and a reporter.

A struggle



“Radio has given me an opportunity and a platform to touch the lives of people,” she says. “Life was a struggle. There were times when my parents would feel ashamed to face my neighbours. But today, they are proud of my achievements. It is important to fight it out,” she says.

Refusing to talk about her past and the stigma that her community faces, she says, “Today, I want to not only empower my community but also work for the uplift of all marginalised communities.”

Other programmes



Ms. Priyanka, who also conducts programmes on issues such as health, sanitation and garbage disposal, says marginalised communities are hardly highlighted by the mainstream media. She says working for the community radio has given her an opportunity to interact and work with the marginalised people.

Her work takes her across 32 slums in Bangalore. “I try to understand the problems of people living in slums and try to address their concerns. The problems there are endless. Every day is a new struggle for them,” she says.

“They have to fight it out for every thing, right from getting a bucket of water. Nobody pays attention to them. By raising awareness about these issues through my programmes, I also help people know what measures they can initiate [to improve their lives].”

The radio station also conducts outreach programmes with the help of civic bodies, government departments and non-governmental organisations .

Recalling her two-and-a-half year professional journey, she says, “Initially, I was apprehensive about working with people. I was not sure if people would accept me. But today, people look forward to my visits.”

Even as she was speaking to this journalist, she gets a call from one of her listeners. She says, “I get several calls and e-mails from my listeners. Several people have added me as their Facebook friend as well. The response and the support I receive from them are overwhelming.”

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