Bridging The Gap - Community Radio Station.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

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I had been to Dharwar over the last weekend on a personal trip. Dharwar, a city, home of delicious, mouth watering Pedhas and for renowned centers of learning with various educational institutions and a city with various firsts to its credit.

My appetite to know new things about the places I visit triggered yet again. This time, top of the list on the menu was the new Community Radio Station (CSR) named as “Samudaya Banuli Kendra", launched recently targeting the farmers in and around the city. This of course has been launched as a pilot project covering the radius of 8-10kms, and will be extended to other parts of the district in the coming days.

Country’s first of its kind, this initiative is a brain child of The University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Dharwad, launched with the financial assistance of the Union Government. The whole idea behind this launch was to reach the farmers through the medium of radio, which is a powerful medium to interact with themasses at the grassroots level and try to address their problems. The channel, with the catch line “Raitharinda Raitharige”, (by the farmers, for the farmers), deals with issues related to agriculture, health, nutrition, hygiene and income generating schemes for farmers. Apart from the said programmes, progressive farmers in the region are also invited to give advice to the farmers and to share the secrets of their success. An advisory committee has been formed which comprises officials from the University staff, five men farmers, five women farmers and two non-governmental organizations to take care of the content and programmes that catch the attention of farmers. Apart from this, local farmers and public are also invited to give their opinion and suggestions to improve the channel.

These kinds of initiatives will definitely help farmers to learn new methods of cultivation as well as find solutions to the problems they face in their day to day life and will defenietly bring in reforms to the already sinking industry. CRSs should in fact go one step ahead and provide information about the buyers, co-operative societies etc. More and more multinational companies in the country should launch CRS as part of their corporate social responsibility initiative, if it is sustainable (CRS at Dharwar was set up at the cost of 15L). Radio surely has more reach than the online initiatives which are currently operative in the same segment. Having said that, I completely accept the fact that online initiatives are doing a fairly good job, but it definitely takes some time to reach the masses at the grassroots level. Hope to see CRSs targeting farmers at every district headquarters in the next few years to come.

Posted by Pradeep A.J  


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