Feb 18, 2012
Indian community radio broadcasters will get a major recognition today when the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting gives away awards in various categories at its Second National Sammelan for Community Radio Stations being held in Delhi on Saturday.
Giving a big fillip to the community radio (CR) movement in the country, the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will on Saturday, February 18, 2012, give away as many as 15 awards to community radio stations (CRS). The Indian community broadcasting community has setup nearly 126 CRS ever since the government approved the CR policy in November 2006 after a long struggle by Indian civil society organisations.
The government will give away the awards to the stations at its 2nd National Sammelan for Community Radio Stations being held between 18th to 20th February 2012 in New Delhi. The CR practitioners who have carved out a niche of their own within the development and the social sphere will get a boost through the awards, which have a cash component as well.
Community radio has played an important role in the social development in the developing countries, particularly in Latin America and even South Asia. The movement is particularly strong in Nepal which has had a head start in this region. India’s first CRS was set up by the Anna University in February 2004. Since then, the government has issued 363 permissions to set up CRS in the country. Of these, 126 organisations—including universities, NGOs, krishi vigyan kendras and even spiritual institutions—are already broadcasting news and information related to social and community development. The Gujarat based, women's NGO, SEWA, too has a station managed exclusively by women.
Practitioners believe that the potential of CR is big in India and the figure of 126 is still miniscule. It is the only media that can effectively reach out to all communities as it is easily accessible and within the reach of the local population. Unlike the FM, a CRS is the voice of the people and is broadcast in the local language.
The 2nd National Sammelan for CRS which will be inaugurated by Minister for Information and Broadcasting Ambika Soni will be attended by more than 150 stakeholders, including community radio operators, UN organizations, development practitioners, activists as well as experts from USA, UK, Australia and South Africa.