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Development communication to social change, here is what made it to 8th Community Radio Stations award

Ministry of Information & Broadcasting takes immense pleasure in highlighting the outstanding efforts of the winners of the 8th edition of the National Community Radio Awards.

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Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had instituted National Community Radio (CR) Awards in the year 2011-12 to encourage innovation and healthy competition amongst Community Radio Stations (CRSs), as Community Radio Stations are very useful in spreading the awareness about various schemes of the Government, to its listeners through their active participation.

Over the years, Community Radio Movement has emerged stronger in India. As on date, there are 327 operational CRSs, spread across various States. Community Radios exemplify the principle of “by the people, of the people, for the people”. CRs are focused on local issues for the benefit of the local community in a radius of 10-15 Kms. These stations are run mostly by the local people who host talk shows, play local music and sing local songs. Locally respectable people convey important messages related to the problems faced by the community. Therefore, being community centric, they have a much greater impact on the minds of the people. These Community Radio stations have played a significant role in communication during Covid-19 pandemic.

8th Edition of the National Community Radio Awards

National Community Radio Awards are generally conferred every year. So far, 7 National CR awards have been conferred. During the year 2020-21, the 8th National Community Radio Awards were conferred. These were given in following four categories:

i) Thematic Award

ii) Most Innovative Community Engagement Award

ii) Promoting Local Culture Award

iv) Sustainability Model Award

First prize in the Thematic Category Awards

Radio Mattoli, Wayanad Social Service Society, Wayanad, Kerala, for its programme Rithubedham

Community Radio Mattoli 90.4 FM, of Wayanad District, has been vital source of development communication, and social change ever since its inception in 2009. Radio Mattoli caters to varied information requirement of people of Wayanad especially to its tribal population through its diverse radio programmes. This station runs 24 hours of broadcasting.

Rithubedham is a series of radio talks produced and broadcasted by Radio Mattoli. This programme is aimed to promote climate adaptation models in Wayanad District of Kerala for improving the agricultural production potential along with sustainable environment with positive impact on human and social values, farming, food security, livestock, health, gender, bio-diversity, rural infrastructure, gender and economy. The programme focuses on sustainable development and wellbeing.

It included various radio programmes such as radio documentaries, drama, live phone in programs, panel discussions and Public Service Announcements etc.

Second prize in the Thematic Category Awards

Radio Vishwas, Vishwas Dhyan Prabodhini & Research Institute, Nashik, Maharashtra, for its programme Shikshan Sarvasathi

Radio Vishwas 90.8 Community Radio Station is based in Nasik, Maharashtra. The radio is broadcasting various programmes targeting various communities in the region. The station is broadcasting programmes 14 hours per day.

The purpose of Shikshan Sarvasathi programme was to ensure that poor and underprivileged children should not lack access to education due to their background. This is especially for children in municipal schools and whose parents are migrant workers. During Covid-19 lockdown, formal education was severely affected. The biggest challenge for these children was to access online education. In address this issue, it was decided to provide lectures through Community Radio. The programme was implemented with the support of 150 school teachers in Nasik. Subjects were given to the teachers based on their expertise.

The content was developed for students of all divisions. The programme was broadcast in various languages i.e. Hindi, English, Marathi, Sanskrit.The programme received huge response from the targeted community.

Third prize in the Thematic Category Awards

Kisan Radio, Kisan Seva Santhan, Basti, Uttar Pradesh for its programme Super Brain of the Week

Kisan Radio 90.4 FM has been operational in Basti since 2012. T h e s tation broadcasts 15 hours of daily programmes. So far, this is the only operational station of the district. Through its continuous broadcasts with participatory contents, it has become very popular amongst the local community. Most of the programmes are community centric and need based.

Super Brain of the Week programme was chosen to develop an interesting learning amongst the students through Community Radio. The main focus of the programme was to cater especially abled children by bringing them confidence amongst them and can equally contribute to the society and family. Through the medium of radio, they got a platform where they can have easy access to media and communication and showcase their abilities.

To execute the programme, various schools were approached from where not only students but also teachers and principals participated. The students were selected from nursery level to 5th standard level. Impact of the programme was quite visible amongst teachers, students and parents. Local administration appreciated such interventions and requested o popularize such types of programmes through radio.

First prize in the Most Creative/Innovative Community Engagement Awards

Community Radio Station, Rimjhim Radio 90.4 FM, Ayodhya Lal Kalyan Niketan, Gopalganj, Bihar for its programme JAN SUNWAYI

Rimjhim Radio is operational in Gopalganj since 2009. Through the Programme Jan Sunwayi, Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Gopalganj, received the complaints of local community complaints and took necessary measures to address the issues. Complaints were also recorded in SDM office for necessary action. However, anonymity of the respondents were maintained in the talk show. People were motivated to send their complaints either to radio or district administration directly.

For sustained engagement of the listeners, community members were requested to send their problems through Letters, SMS, WhatsApp, Email, and via phone call. This was the easiest method for the people to raise their problems/issues without visiting different administrative offices. Hence, people were using this medium to highlight the issues.

For the first time, people were finding it easy to file their complaints related to pension, land problems, road problems, sugar factory issues, govt. schemes and several issues that were linked to their lives.

Second prize in Most Creative/Innovative Community Engagement Awards

Radio Mann, Samgra Shikshan Evam Jan Kalyan Santhan, Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh for its programme Genius of Vidisha

Community Radio Station, Radio Mann 90.8 FM is operational in Vidisha since 2015. The radio is targeting various communities including migrants. During Covid-19 lockdown, economic sustainability posed a major challenge before the Government and community.

The radio station highlighted importance of PM Cares’ fund and started generation of funds for PM Care through crowd sourcing and positive engagement of people. The radio identified a unique programmme titled ‘Genius of the Week’. Participants could take part in the programe with a minimum registration fee of Rs.101 and that could be part of PM Cares’ donation fund. The participants who turn Genius of the Week could receive double the amount of donation. All age groups of people took part in the programme.

In total, 3152 persons took part in the programme; an amount of Rs.4,15,300 collected through the programme was deposited by the Radio to PM Cares’ funds.

Third prize in Most Creative/Innovative Community Engagement Awards

Community Radio Station, Radio Dastak 90.4 FM, Shri Krishna Shikshan Lok Parmarth Samiti, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh for its programme Dastak Kavya Goshthi

Radio Dastak has been operational since January 2019. Since Ujjain is an important destination, people across India visit this place and stay for few days. Through its programme Kavya Goshthi, radio presents budding local poets to showcase their talents. The talents of women members are showcased in the programme. Upon broadcasting various episodes of the programme, virtual poetry becomes very popular in the region.

During lockdown, promotion of such programmes not only brought out local talents, but also contributed immensely to mental and emotional wellbeing for the people. Several social media platforms were used to promote this programme. The joy of recognizing and sharing of each other’s poetry is main take away from this programme. It achieved its objectives in a short span of time.

First prize in the Promoting Local Culture Award

Radio Gunjan, INSPIRE, Bargarh, Odisha, for its programme Kakalichhanda

Community Radio Station, Radio Gunjan 90.4 FM, based in Bargarh, Odisha, is the first community radio station in the region since 2018. The station is purely dependent on community volunteers (70 community listeners group).

Kakalichanda is an innovative programme of Radio Gunjan. The main objective of the programme is to promote local culture. Through this programme, radio station promotes local culture. Karma is a typical dance form performed by tribal and non-tribal groups of western Odisha. Music is the heart of Karma. This topic became very popular amongst the farmers community.

Dance and music accompanying the programme are centred on some religious practices. It attracted lot of local talents to come and participate in this innovative programme.

Second prize in the Promoting Local Culture Awards

Radio SD, SD College of Pharmacy & Vocational Studies, Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh for its programme GUR MAHOTSAV

Community Radio Station, Radio SD 90.8 FM is operational since 2015. This is the only Community Radio Station in Muzzafarnagar district. The CRS is broadcasting various programmes relevant to local community.

Muzaffarnagar is a sugarcane rich region city and has the largest jaggery (Gud) market in the region. The programme focuses on use of jaggery not only for economic benefit but also beneficial from health point of view. To save and promote traditional cuisine jaggery, it is important that people know the different methods adopted for making Gur. It focused on economic importance of the sweetener and but also to create demand conditions in local and national markets.

By mobilising jaggery makers, the Station organized stalls of different varieties of jaggery at various locations and promoted the local cuisine at all levels. Now some of the jaggery makers have pursued on-line trading of jaggery as well.

Third prize in the Promoting Local Culture Awards

Radio Salaam Namaste, Institute of Management Studies, NOIDA, Uttar Pradesh for its programme Art Manthan

Community Radio Station, Salaam Namaste, is operational since 2008. While making programme, the radio station has taken a participatory approach and involved community in the design of programmes.

The focus of Art Manthan programme is to popularize Indian Art forms by bringing artisans from the community. To popularize the programme, the radio took initiatives to organize several workshops and exhibitions at various locations. Artisan community were also invited to take part in the events. Indian art based competitions were also organized in various schools and colleges. Through a series of programmes, the local community is aware of the various art forms of different states of India such as Madhubani, Bihar, Warli, Maharashtra, Kalamkari of Uttar Pradesh and Kalighat art of Kolkata. Another objective was to act as a forum to bring under- privileged artisans of the community with Art teachers from various schools.

First prize in the Sustainability Model Awards

Radio Vishwas, Vishwas Dhyan Prabodhini & Research Institute, Nashik, Maharashtra

Radio Vishwas 90.8 Community Radio Station, based in Nashik, broadcasts various programmes targeting local communities. The station is broadcasting 14 hours daily. The Radio has adopted innovative model of sustainability for its functioning.

Gradual evolving of Radio Vishwas, led the station to sustain itself in four key areas: financial, human, technical and content sustainability.

To maintain transparency and proper auditing of account, the Radio station maintained a separate bank account other than from the parent body. The station implemented various projects with the support of international agencies and government departments. It maintained a good staff composition to meet its needs. Major source of revenue generation included: local advertisements, funds from the governments and international agencies. During 2019-20, the Radio station could broadcast 50 new programmes. Over a period of 10 years, the station has been able to develop a developed listenership base of 3 lakh people.

Second prize in the Sustainability Model Award

Alfaz-e-Mewat, S.M. Sehgal Foundation, Mewat, NUH, Haryaya

Community radio Alfaz-e-Mewat FM 107.8 was established in 2012 and reaching out to population of more than 2 lakh covering 220 villages in district Nuh, Haryana. The station broadcast 13 hours of daily programmes.

Over the years, the Station has been able to produce 630 programmes. On financial sustainability front, the Station is able to mobilise funds from external partner agencies and local advertisements as well as through DAVP. Most of the staff members of the radio station are recruited from local community. The Station is technically well equipped and staff members are trained to handle any technical issues that may emerge during broadcast. On content sustainability part, the Station has d e v e l o p e d a feedback mechanism from the community through which programmes are being prepared.

The station has been supportive of the activities of local administration especially in times of emergency. Special efforts and campaigns were made by the Station to spread Covid awareness programmes.

Third prize in the Sustainability Model Award

Kisan Radio, Kisan Seva Santhan, Basti, Uttar Pradesh

Kisan Radio 90.4 FM has been operational since 2012. It broadcasts 15 hours of daily programmes. So far, this is the first and only operational station of this district. Through its continuous broadcasts with participatory contents, it has become very popular amongst the local community. Most of the programmes are community centric and need based.

The main source of funding for the station include: local advertisements, membership fee, advertisement from the local administration, and marketing of local products etc. It has received support from governmental agencies to run special projects. The station has been able to conduct variety of programmes to raise its popularity at the local level. It has been helpful to the local administration especially in disasters and traffic management. The viability of the station lies in all four pillars such as content, human resource, technical and financial stability. PIB

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