15 Jun 2012 WACC supports community media in Himalaya Mountains
|WACC project partners of the Himalaya Trust|
The workshops addressed a wide variety of topics related to the operation of a community radio station including sound-mixing, content-creation and government broadcasting policy. The project included 20 young men and women from 20 outlying villages who had an interest in developing skills and getting involved with community radio in the villages in the foothills of the Himalaya Mountains.
Most of the participants are living below the poverty line and had to travel through mountainous terrain to reach the workshops. “We learnt new ways of preparing and planning a programme. I was particularly excited by the techniques of telling a digital story on the computer as this will come in very useful in my work as a social motivator,” said Dinesh Kandpal, a participant who also works with Room to Read, an NGO project in the area.
Along with technical training to produce radio programmes and to set up a radio station, the key focus of all the workshops was to encourage research and collaborative practices. By the end of the project, the group had produced 14 radio programmes on local enterprises, health issues, and public services announcements.
Participants also conducted community media and health surveys. “I got to know what medium people liked and why. We also learnt about various issues through a matrix, through which we got so much knowledge,” said Mamta Arya, one of the workshop participants.
Three village communities with populations between 700-3200 benefitted from programmes on alcohol addiction and a digital story on water pollution which was narrowcast there. Workshop participant Chetna Mishra said, “I learnt some new things about my area in four days. I came to know how much trade goes on, how much income is gathered through the traffic of goods and so on.”
Indira Ramesh, the Project Coordinator expressed the belief that when community radio is seen to be making a difference, there will be greater confidence in it and support for it. “We expect that community radio will bear fruit in the near future.”
WACC supported the project under its programme Building and Recognizing Communication Rights.