| 14 Aug 2022
Development Alternatives to launch CR station Radio Bundelkhand

MUMBAI: Delhi based NGO, Development Alternatives (DA) will soon start a community radio station in Orchha, Madhya Pradesh, becoming the country's second NGO to get a CR license to operate. The Maharashtra based NGO Mann Vikas Samajik Sanstha-MVSS became the first to get a licence to run a community radio in Aswad village and will go on air from 15 September. The Development Alternatives station, Radio Bundelkhand acquired Wireless Planning & Coordination - WPC's wing Standing Advisory Committee on Radio Frequency Allocation (SACFA) and I&B Ministry license on 31 July 2008 and would be on air after the final testing of the signals are tested. Commenting on the purpose of the radio station, Development Alternatives chief advisor Indira Mansingh says, "Radio Bundelkhand is mainly to enable and empower the communities to use this communication medium to take charge of their own lives. We propose to use this communication medium to create awareness, give information, participate in local self governance and provide entertainment - all based on requests and feedback from the community." The content of the radio station was formulated looking at the needs of the community. Information related to employment and livelihood opportunities, development of women, female education, legal rights, farmers' issues, training, their culture and history, how to ensure the availability of basic infrastructure such as water, energy and roads and developmental issues are lined up for the radio station. "The programming will be based on issues and content identified by the communities and will be broadcasted in the formats preferred by the community that includes the use of traditional Bundelkhandi songs, folk music and nataks, discussions, reports, commodity prices, phone ins, experts speak, coverage of events in villages, jokes and satire, listeners' letters and feedback," confirms Mansingh. What makes Radio Bundelkhand unique are the transmitters used, built by Nomad India Network, led by Hemant Babu. The equipment is a low cost transmitter partly funded by the UN. The target audience for a CR radio station are the communities in the radius of the broadcast range with special attention to women, youth and the marginalised groups. Radio Bundelkhand will be manned by some radio professionals like Jhansi based Ashok Shukla, who are currently training the community reporters. "We have about 25 youngsters including both girls and boys who came forward to take up the training programme and it came by surprise as they are technology savvy and culturally inclined as well," say DA officials. Commenting on radio as a medium to disseminate information within the community Mansingh states, "It is a good medium as electricity has not reached many villages, while radios have. As many are illiterate, they cannot get information from the print media, while the radio as a mass medium can reach many as long as the community is comfortable with the language and feels that the radio is addressing them and their interests."