From 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., about 50 villages spread across four mandals tune in to a unique form of entertainment. From folk songs, issues in the surrounding villages to discussion about various topics by the people themselves – ‘Sangam Radio’ has been keeping the villagers enthralled since the last seven years.
Established on October 15, 2008, and run by Deccan Development Society (DDS) from this tiny village in Jarasangam mandal of Medak district, Sangam Radio will enter its eighth year on Wednesday. The radio station is run by women, and all of them have been educated only till Class 10 – some even lesser.
Sangam Radio is currently managed by two women – Algol Narsamma and General Narsamma – with the assistance of two more women. Though DDS activities are spread in about 75 villages across four mandals – Jarasangam, Zaheerabad, Nyalakal and Raikod – the radio broadcast can be heard in about 55 villages. About 12 field staff – again, all women – visit villages and get the required recordings from farmers, villagers, and fellow women. Some are invited to the radio station to participate in discussions and other programmes.
“We have very little academic education, but we have been running the Sangam Radio successfully. We want to expand the coverage to double that number,” said General Narasamma.
The radio station has completed more than 4,500 hours of broadcast in the last seven years. Heading the operations of the first all-women community radio station, both Algol Narsamma and General Narsamma have become role models for those who wanted to start such projects. “We are able to create awareness among women,” P.V. Sateesh, director, DDS, told The Hindu .