Sunday, 9 April 2017

Community Radio – Rural Way of Information Sharing


Rural folks have been listening to community radio in Sanga Reddy district of Telangana everyday evening. They either just sit on an easy chair or cook in the kitchen listening to different programs from the community radio. This has become a daily routine for the people who come home tired from the field after a day’s hard work. This radio station is manned by the ladies who work in the fields by the day. These part-time employees painstakingly collect information from the ground and compile it into programs in interesting ways to woo the rural folks. In this blog post, we will be looking into this unique way of information dissemination practiced in our rural villages when the urban dwellers go Hi-Fi.

fm radio station

India’s First Community Radio

Our country’s first community radio was commissioned in 2008. It was realized after a decade-long wait. The rural institution of information Sangam Radio sharing was established with the purpose of disbursing the information in their own colloquial language and slang. It is located in a place called Pastapur in Zaheerabad district, and it caters to people from Jarasangam, Raikod, and Zaheerabad. It also partly covers Kohir and Nyalkal. It broadcasts a variety of programs from 7:00 PM and 9:00 PM every day. Each village that this radio station covers has a population of between 600 and 1200 people. In short, the radio station has a coverage diameter of 30 kilometers, whereas the All India Radio nearby covers a distance of 100 kilometers. If anyone visits the Sangam Radio, he or she would get surprised looking at the simple setup that has become the household name in the villages surrounding Zaheerabad. The broadcasting tower is placed on top of a tree near the building housing the studio complex.

community radio

Employees of Radio Station

The facilitator for this community radio is Deccan Development Society (DDS). This is a Nongovernmental Organization (NGO) working on the issues relating to farmers. All the employees of this community radio station are on the payrolls of this NGO. After getting the required license, DDS established FM radio station, a transmission tower and program recording facilities. These facilities are partly funded by UNESCO. The villagers work part-time as the station employees. They work in the field by the day and in the radio station by the night. It runs with eight persons – three men and five women. Meet Hyderabad Narasamma and Nalugandila Narasamma who have been regularly doing the regular transmission of programs that have been compiled by other staff members.

radio station employees

Variety of Programs

Villagers eagerly wait for the programs aired by this radio station every day. They relax listening to the variety of programs in the evening. They listen to songs or discussions or anything that is informative in their own dialect and colloquial language. The medium of communication is Telugu.  Sangam Radio offers the opportunity for the villagers to share their views through discussions and interview.

program recording

  1. Songs: The song the community radio airs depends upon the seasons. Over the period of years, the station has collected over 2500 songs sung by the members of the community. Often those songs are recorded with the instrumental accompaniment.

  2. program song recording

  3. Discussions: This program talks about the issues and tips about plowing, plant seeds, plant care, water irrigation and harvest.

  4. live discussions

  5. Interactive Sessions: Every day, the last 30 minutes of the program is dedicated for listeners who would like to call the station to clear their doubts. In these call-in sessions, the people report about the missing cattle, new findings while working in the fields are shared or asked questions to the experts in the field of agriculture. The listeners even trace the missing cattle and pass the information to the radio station for information dissemination.

  6. interactive programs

  7. Other Programs: They often feature farming practices, health tips, festivals, birthday wishes, etc.

  8. other programs
Thuruvananthapuram Zaheerabad, Telangana, India
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