| 04 Oct 2023
CEMCA and CRSs to work towards women welfare

MUMBAI: Community radio stations are seen serving the audience of targeted community with a minimum range of frequency, educating the listeners and spreading awareness.

Dr. Sridhar a programming advisory of the committee for Department of Science and Technology of India and also a consultant to Commonwealth Education Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA) started the first community radio station in India at Anna University of Chennai. He initiated the programme in 2005 to educate the women from the rural area concerning basic scientific awareness. Since then, they have been targeting different corners of the country and this is the sixth phase with new target audience.

Let us understand how the project exactly works. CEMCA is facilitated with various community radio stations. The local women help the radio stations and a survey is done in the area knowing problems of each woman from the targeted community. The survey is then studied by the experts and solutions are given to the radio stations. These community radio stations in the regional language then convey the messages to the listeners. The project is programmed for 365 days and every month the station raises a new issue to be solved.

This year, 14 new community stations have been short-listed by the department of science and technology to spread health and nutrition message. The stations are GMRIT Community Radio- Srikakulam, Radio Kotageri- Tamil Nadu, Radio KVK Pravara- Maharashtra, Radio Sarthi Jhalak- Bengaluru, Kutch Mahila Vikar Sangathan (KMVS)- Kutch, Rudi No Radio- Ahemdabad, Aap ki Awaaz -Agra, Radio Bundelkhand- Madhya Pradesh, Radio Sharda- Jammu, Radio Awaaz Hind- Bhopal, Radio Namaskar and Radio Mushkan – Orrisha, Radio Dhadkan- Shivpuri, Thenral Radio- Chennai.

From the 14 above mentioned radio stations, two stations Radio Namaskar and Rudi No Radio will be working on this project for the second time.

Radio Namaskra programming head N.S Shah Ansari said, “We first initiated the project in 2013 and it was a grand success. Through our programme, 1000 women from 15 villages adopted kitchen gardening. We see more women giving birth to children in government hospitals. The survey is done by rural women and that helps us to know problems of each villager. The tentative date to start the 365 days programme this year for the second time is from 1 March onwards.”

Talking about the project Dr. R Sridhar stated, “The project was first initiated by me in 2005 at Anna University of Chennai and we had planned to target 1000 women in the listening zone. The idea is that health and nutrition need to be tabulated. So we arrange doctors and nutritionist at radio stations to help the rural women and also keep spreading awareness about basic health care.”

“These stations have been permitted by the government to carry the program and it is expected to start in March this year only if the survey ends by January,” he added.

Dr. Sridhar has been actively working on the project since its initiative. The project is in association with the Department of Science and Technology of India and it has created awareness among many less educated women from the rural community. The targeted age group has been between 15 to 35 i.e. adolescent to new mothers.

“We find a lot of superstitions among this community. Of course, things will not change overnight but we expect the next generation to be aware of it and do not repeat the mistakes same as their previous generation.” he ends.