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On gender issues, community radio should talk to men too

Feb 12, 2013

Community radio station managers cross India believe that their stations have been successful in highlighting local issues of people in their regions, including gender-related ones.

Archana Kapoor, manager of the community radio station, Radio Mewat from Haryana, said that her station has been successfully working for creating awareness in women about basic issues in an area primarily inhabited by the backward minority community of Meos. The station bagged the National Community Radio Award 2013, in the most creative programme content category for its programme Apki Police Aapke Sath.

Talking about the issues affecting women of the Mewat area, Kapoor said that while women contribute to up to 80 per cent of the household income, not even 20 per cent of that is spent on them. Talking about the importance of involving men in the process of women empowerment, she said that men cannot be excluded from the process of women empowerment. The process of development cannot be compartmentalised, she added.

“You cannot empower women without talking to men. Modern tools like community radio should be used to empower women by raising issues related to them like menstrual hygiene and also educating men about them,” she said.

Speaking at an exploratory workshop on Science for Women’s Health and Nutrition, in New Delhi, Lokesh Sharma, manager of the community radio, Apno Radio Banasthali of Rajasthan, said his radio is focused on subjects like health, hygiene and education of girl child. Talking about the accessing the success of their programmes, he said that through a feedback programme, they got to know that their station had influenced people to change their mindset regarding the girl child.

Shivraj Shastri Herur, manager of the community radio Antarvani CRS of Karnataka, said that it is very challenging to run a community radio. Herur, a visually impaired professor, who had some initial training on community radio at IGNOU, said that his station regularly engages students in the programme-making and related activities. He added that bringing specialised personalities to the community radio station was a daunting task.

Tanvi Vijay from Radio Seven of Jaipur in Rajasthan said that exchanging ideas with people from other stations has tickled many ideas in her which she could implement for making more meaningful programmes for her radio station.

S. Joseph Winston, manager of the community Radio, Kalpakkam CR of Tamil Nadu, said that his station, which is run by the Atomic Energy Education Society (AEES), bagged the National Community Radio Award-2102, in the community engagement category. He added that his station has brought economic benefits to the fishermen by providing them information related to fishing zones.

Winston also talked about their collaboration with Employment News. “Through this tie-up we are able to provide job-related information to our readers in the local language. It is a first such initiative of its kind in the country,” Winston claimed.

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