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Role of Community Radio

What is Community Radio?

1. Community Radio is a platform for the community to speak about issues concerning their lives.

2. In 2006, Government of India permitted non-profit organizations to own and operate community radio stations. 

3. The new policy has opened doors for community radio as a platform for development, social change and voice of the community in concern. 

4. Educational institutions, community -based organizations and Krishi Vigyan Kendra/ State Agriculture Institutions run the various community radio stations in India. 

5. Community radios are also used in Nepal, Bangladesh, Canada, America, etc. also.

Which are the uses of Community Radio?

1. Speaking to communities in local languages.

2. Providing two-way interactive social learning through listening clubs, call-in shows, and other forms of exchange. 

3. Communicating about needs, demands, policy and research related to the communities.

4. Providing a common media to communities.

5. Bringing together people from frequently disconnected stakeholder groups like livelihood, community leaders, organizations and governance. 

6. It is essential for the exchange and sharing of information among residents as well as the enhancement of the community’s capability and of self-governance ability. 

7. Information related to forecasts for farmers, alerts for extreme weather events, and messaging to discourage practices which degrades environmental assets can be shared.

8. The sense of empowerment that people and communities can feel by engaging can help to build local, institutional and organizational capacity. 

How does community radio help in disaster management?

1. Rural areas are constantly faced with natural calamities given the environment change.

2. Community radio has the power to organize and provide information and connect these communities to aid and relief. 

3. There are different phases in disaster management- disaster mitigation, preparation, early warning, response, recovery and revitalization. 

Pre-Disaster

 Information and programmes can be broadcast related to - 

1. Gathering locations and safety shelters 

2. Sanitation measures and first aid practices

3. Safety dills 

4. Forecasts and warnings issues by the meteorological department

5. Updates on the status of relief and rehabilitation operations. 

During disaster

1. Community radio can help the community link with the relief agencies and Government control room. 

2. It provides information in the local language.

3. Community members can be guided to safety shelters.

4. Locals can provide first hand information regarding the on goings in the affected areas. 

Post disaster

Following information can be provided - 

1. Post trauma counseling and updates on relief.

2. Guidelines regarding disposal of wastage, restoration of safe supply and basic sanitation. 

Why do community radio programmes need improvement?

1. Staff members should be trained in a specific and well-defined manner on disaster prevention, mitigation and management communication.

2. Several Government departments/ Ministries at central and state level working on climate change and disaster management can join hand together to use this platform.

3. Local community itself can be enabled through infrastructure and training to make use of community radio approach. 

4. Several initiatives and innovations in the community radio front can help to harness its full potential.