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Radio Ujjas - Giving voice to the women of Kutch

Apr 03, 2013

Radio Ujjas is a successful community radio initiative that works to sensitize the people of Kutch on local issues, particularly on matters related to women.

Radio Ujjas

Started by the Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan (KMVS) in 1999, Radio Ujjas arose out of the need to overcome the barrier that illiteracy poses to people's access to information. Moreover, Kutch is a large and disaster prone area that makes it difficult for any constant and reliable source of information and entertainment to be available to the people. Combined with the fact that approximately 90 per cent of households in Kutch own a radio set, KMVS's idea of using the medium of radio for development holds immense potential.

Radio Ujjas works at the grassroots to identify concerns specific to the people of Kutch and involves the community members extensively in mobilising resources and in programme production. The programme themes are very diverse and include education, handicrafts, fishing, panchayat, girls' rights, environment, natural resource management and such. The overarching aim of all these programmes is to give a space to women to voice their concerns related to these issues.

For its first radio show aired in 1999, titled 'Kunjal Paanje Kutchi', Radio Ujjas was awarded the Chameli Devi Jain Award in 2000. Currently, Radio Ujjas operates from the Bhuj and Rajkot AIR stations and enjoys a listenership of over 75 per cent. It has acquired government clearance for a radio station of its own. The proposed radio station will reach over 7000 people within a 10 km radius.

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