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Digital India fancies Community Radio in rural India

08 April 2016

Ashok Kumar/OneWorld South Asia

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Community Radio in India has taken fancy to the Digital India campaign in furthering the interests of rural communities.

New Delhi: Community Radio Stations in India narrated the success stories of their respective regions wherein the medium helped the local people on various fronts like Digital India and Start-up India.

The open house session at the Sixth National Community Radio Sammelan in New Delhi discussed best practices on engagement with government on programming.

R K Singh from DUCR, talked about confusion over digital India. “There is no clarity about digital India. We devised programmes of eight to nine episodes in a very simple language,” he says.

Nahida Shekh from Radio Bundelkhand in Uttar Pradesh regretted that information regarding Digital India campaign had not really reached the villages.

Harsh Bawa from CMS Radio in Uttar Pradesh said digital India had failed even before taking up. “We made a programme to explain the idea of digital idea,” he says.

Justin Matthew from Radio Matoli, Kerala, spoke about programmes wherein people are being made aware of National Digital Literacy Mission to avail government sponsored benefits. “We have broadcasted 52 episodes on financial literacy through a weekly programme. People are told about e-commerce and e-marketing,” he says.

Sunil Palaskar from Radio Neotech in Chhattisgarh opines that relevant information can help the farming community in keeping off their miseries. “Even farmers have become an important part of the digital India movement,” he says.

Shyam Bhatt from Radio Manipal in Karnataka shared how the CR station is broadcasting information on technology related to coconut cultivation. “We go with a microphone to the farmers, and also interview eloquent farmers,” he says.

Sohrab Khan from Alfaz-e-Mewat in Mewat, Haryana, raised his concern on people not being aware of government sponsored Skill India programmes. “We took opinion of people before devising programmes. Start up India boosts such entrepreneurs that create business boosting employment generation. Our programmes generated interest among people,” he says.

Najma Banu from Radio Siddhartha, Tumkur, Karnataka, said that start up is not a very familiar term among the community.

Rajiv Tikoo, Director, OneWorld, said that partnership with local community is the key and there is no need of reinventing the wheel.  He also highlighted common challenges regarding lack of data and sourcing relevant information for programming at a Community Radio Station.

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