| 23 Jul 2024
Community Radio Stations in Odisha join hands to spread awareness about free medicines

MUMBAI: Radio Namaskar, Radio Sanskar, Radio Muskan and many others, have come together for a campaign ‘Niramaya’ which is aided by Oxfam India. The 30-day campaign, started on 11 November, includes running a few standard jingles, expert voices and feedback from communities on the campaign.

“The campaign is to create awareness about free medicines given by the Government under the ‘Niramaya’ scheme,” said Community Radio Association vice president and Radio Namaskar chairperson N A Shah Ansari. “We started the discussion with an aim to clear all the myth based on medicines.”

The regions in which these stations operate do not have medical stores that stock medicine. Ansari feels that the response from the campaign, so far, has been good despite no survey being conducted for it. However, he did say that a survey will be held after the campaign. He explained that those suffering from illnesses had to pay for medicines because they were unaware that 570 medicines were available to them free of cost. These medicines were meant for aliments like diarrhoea, fever, cold and others. Ansari added, “Patients were misguided by many government doctors.”

The campaign includes two jingles that run throughout the day, and for the first 15 days will have experts talking about the situation, while the other 15 days will be used to air feedback from the community. “Feedback from the community is vital in this campaign as it will help us understand the reach of the campaign. There is feeling of trust when you have feedback based campaigns,” stressed Ansari.

When quizzed about the impact of DAVP advertising, Ansari said, “Different ministries have to engage a lot with Community Radio Stations to create an impact.”

He added that the Ministries should give samples and allow CRS to air content based on the needs of the community. He stressed that if a community does not understand one specific language then there is use of running a campaign or jingle. “Effective content generation should be the way ahead,” Ansari added.

He also said that there is lot to be done for CRS but the Information and Broadcasting Ministry (I&B Ministry) has not done enough for CRS. There have been many initiatives and policies started in favour of Community Radio Stations, but those have not been implemented, concluded Ansari.