Community Media in India

Community Media in India

  • Media in itself is extremely diverse. It is a collective communication outlet which stores and disseminates information. However media is not just limited to print and electronic forms which fight for content and existence. There exists a different type of media which is changing the world slowly.
  • Participatory media/community media/grass-root media, is an entity where the audience plays an active role in identifying, collecting, analyzing and disseminating content.
  • Participatory media is a powerful tool for development as;

1.It give independence to the community to express their issues

2.It empower the people by harnessing the power of media

  • In the perspective of development for social change, participatory media give the community the power to change their lives. It empowers people to not only identify their issues, but also work towards finding a sustainable solution.
  • Community media doesn’t require conventional literacy, and engage the audience because of its localized content. The content becomes a window for outside world to get aware with their issues.
  • Participatory video can provide a channel through which local knowledge and experience can be shared with scientists, decision and policy makers on a local, national and global level.

Community Radio in India

  • After the landmark judgment of Supreme Court of India in February 1995 that ‘airwaves are public property’, the campaign to legitimise community radio began. Until 2006, only educational institutions were allowed to set up campus radio stations having a transmission range of 10-15 km.
  • Community Radio Guidelines on 16 November 2006 included non-profit agencies, agricultural research institutes, and schools, to set up community radio stations that would involve local communities in the content production process. However due to unfavorable conditions, there are just 202 radio stations in India, whereas, Nepal has around 475 radio stations even when they do not have community media policies.
  • I&B Ministry only permit the broadcast of AIR news bulletins or translated into the local language/dialect and non-news ‘information’ like traffic and weather updates on Community Radio (CR). However, it compels CR stations of being a mouthpiece of the government, not of the community.

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Community Radio “Sangham Radio – 90.4 MHZ”

  • Launch Date: 15-10-2008
  • Broadcast Timings: 19:00 – 21:00
  • Languages: Telugu
  • Programme Bank: 513 Hours
  • It was founded on the principle that media has always treated rural people, especially women from the marginalised sections as consumers, and not its producers. Media also fails to address the issues specifically related to them
  • As many as 2,500 women are involved in contributing to the programmes of Sangham Radio. At least ten women come daily from different villages to discuss, debate, sing, tell stories, take part in plays and to participate in recordings etc. Programs includes; our farming, our crops; our language and its unique nuances; our folk culture; Dialogue of in-laws; Our food etc.

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The son of the postman of Bherwa Village, Jharkhand, was offering money (10 Rs.) in return for giving Aadhar Cards. Dalit activist and a Community Correspondent with Video Volunteers, Mukesh exposed the story.

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Three tribal farmers of Raigadh, Chhattisgarh, had unlawfully lost their lands to Navdurga Pvt. Ltd., a sponge-iron company. These farmers were unaware of the laws that protected their land. Rajesh, decided to gather the whole village to support them by creating video exposing the entire issue. https://youtu.be/8OZgb7HUe_k 

CGNet Swara

  • In a remote tribal village in Raigarh district of Chhattisgarh villagers were not able to take pregnant women to hospital in time because of the lack of proper roads, which caused two death in a month.Someone in the village came to know about CGNet Swara, which is a voice-based news portal that allows anyone to report and listen to stories on local issues.
  • He called the number and recorded a message. “If you are listening to this, please call up our collector and tell him about this problem. His name is Mukesh Bansal and this is his number…” he said. Someone in New Jersey came across this message on the website of CGNet Swaraand called the collector.

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