Mind the lines

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY -

Com­mu­nity ra­dio’s em­brace ex­tends to han­dling com­plaints of sex­ual ha­rass­ment and giv­ing voice to mem­bers of the marginalised com­mu­ni­ties. Still, there are draw­backs of be­ing non-main­stream, for th­ese sta­tions are not per­mit­ted to broad­cast ev­ery­day news, and are banned from crit­i­cis­ing the estab­lish­ment.

Be­sides oper­a­tional short­com­ings, there is the dilemma of get­ting women em­ploy­ees to com­mit full-time. “I am strug­gling to get lo­cal women who can stay for long,” says Al­faz-e-Me­wat’s Puja, adding, “In some pro­ce­dures, the gov­ern­ment process is slow — it took more than three years to get a li­cence.”

De­spite th­ese chal­lenges, the suc­cess of Ra­dio Me­wat, Al­faz-e-Me­wat and Gur­gaon Ki Awaaz has demon­strated the value of com­mu­nity ra­dio. And it’s not all about in­for­ma­tion and ed­u­ca­tion. Ra­dio Me­wat, for ex­am­ple, is happy to play Haryanvi ragi­nis and folk songs be­tween each slot. Be­cause ra­dio works best when it’s both men­tor and en­ter­tainer.

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