Community radio gives boost to rural development

Community Radio has a lot of potential to weave together a community into a stronghold and can help give impetus to rural development-related issues such as Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP), social audit, water harvesting and solar panel installation.

Awareness drive

They can also be effectively used to increase awareness on various government initiatives for rural welfare, according to a study taken up by a team of National Institute of Rural Development & Panchayat Raj (NIRDPR).

The NIRDPR team led by Akanksha Shukla, associate professor and head, Center for Development Documentation and Communication (CDC), visited the Community Radio Centre built with funds by Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization) in 1992 at Pastapur village of Medak, and conducted a study on its functioning and to assess its impact.

This radio station has a reach of 30 villages and is now financially supported by the Deccan Development Society.

The radio station is being run by a staff of three women from the local community — Narsamma, 35, Algoal Narsamma, 32, and Pullamma, 35, — who were earlier daily labourers and working for the last 20 years here.

Women’s health

The field report found programmes on health which has women, health/gynaecology-related content and general content, relevant for people for better health outcomes. One woman travelled to the radio station to thank employees because of the tips they shared on air on tackling white discharge issues, which she had been unable to get treated for long.

The radio station had also identified good singers, story-tellers and expertise of people related to medicinal plants, health problems, soil preparation, manure preparation, veterinary sciences, horticulture and cooks providing recipes of various types.

5 to 7 programmes

Five to seven programmes are broadcast every day with 20 minutes duration each. On first Saturday of the month, a Sangam radio meeting is organised to decide on programmes to be aired and central theme of most programmes are the village crops.

“The Central Government has initiated a convergence between PRIs and SHGs to facilitate rural transformation and adding community radio stations may have far reaching benefits as radio is now accessed over mobile phones as well,” said Dr. Akanksha Shukla. Community radios speak the dialect, language, and voice of the people in their own style. People can look forward to participating in the programmes as speaking on radio makes the local villager a celebrity in the area, she added.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 3:48:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/community-radio-gives-boost-to-rural-development/article28497112.ece

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