Community Radio Is Our Radio

Satellite Radio is Crucial for Overcoming Misconceptions & Myths

In the hilly northern India state of Uttarakhand, access to outside information is no longer scarce through our collaboration with UNESCO. After participating in workshops to learn script-writing, editing, and technical radio production skills, women, men and youth from several communities collectively design and produce radio programs that address relevant issues in their community. While producing dozens of episodes about health issues, women’s empowerment, environment, youth issues, agriculture, education and tourism, each community defines and addresses their own needs-ensuring that the programs are targeted to realities at the grassroots level. After each broadcast via satellite to community discussion groups in Uttarakhand, trained leaders facilitate group discussions around the messages heard on the radio program to catalyze community responses to these issues.

Community radio via satellite is crucial for overcoming misconceptions and rumors in rural India. For instance, after several women returned from urban areas and reported that women there no longer wore sindoor (the color vermillion), which is traditionally worn in Uttarakhand after marriage, a rumor began to spread that the dye used to produce sindoor was actually a poisonous acid that would cause wives to die before their husbands. Recently, when an Indian woman who had been listening to Community Radio is Your Radio realized the rumor was based on superstition and fear, rather than facts, she used an Equal Access radio broadcast to convince the entire community that the old tradition was safe. Illustrating the legitimacy ascribed to what is heard on the radio the incident strongly convinced the woman of the power of community radio to transform lives in Uttarakhand.

Success Story

Broadcasting the Songs of the Garhwali Women