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A radio to save lives in Rudraprayag

After over a decade of efforts, a community radio focussed on disaster management was launched on Sunday in the Mandakini Valley, which was ravaged by the floods in Uttarakhand in 2013.

Listeners can tune into Mandakini ki Awaz from 200 villages in the district and remote areas of the Chamoli and Pauri districts. The studio of the first community radio service in Rudraprayag district will be based at Sena Gadsari.

The station, in collaboration with the Bangalore-based People’s Power Collective, will broadcast programmes in the local Garhwali dialect, which has been categorised as “unsafe” in the Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger of UNESCO.

The Collective, which works to bring community radio to rural and isolated communities in the country, joined hands with Mandakini Ki Awaz Kalyan Sewa Samiti, a local body, in 2010. In September 2013, the two started training local people to manage the radio station.

“The workforce of the community radio is the residents of 80 villages in the district … ,” Saritha Thomas, founder of the Collective, says.

A community radio became a pressing need in the region after the floods destroyed all means of communication — roads, cellphone towers and so on.“Community radio has a big role to play in grassroots-level disaster preparedness, risk reduction, relief and rescue operations, rehabilitation and the responsible reconstruction of an affected region and its people,” Ms. Thomas said.

The community radio, she says, will address locally relevant issues such as education, nutrition, drinking water, sanitation, women’s and public health, livelihoods, migration and community well-being as well as enable the community to celebrate and preserve their language, traditions, folk music and culture.

It is the seventh community radio in the State.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 9:26:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/a-radio-to-save-lives-in-rudraprayag/article6432445.ece

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