Community Radio Enabling
radio is the easiest means of low-cost communication to remote
communities and small groups. The radio reporters are people from the
local villages and makes programmes on local issues affecting their
Operating since October 2008, Development
Alternative Groupís Radio Bundelkhand (FM 90.4) has established its own
identity through its voice in 150 villages of three districts - Niwari,
Jhansi and Datia in Buldelkhand, a backward region of central India.
Radio Bundelkhand broadcasts programmes in the regional language Bundeli
on subjects ranging from agriculture, environment, water, education,
health, skill development, livelihood, child marriage, women
empowerment, Panchayati Raj, government schemes, preservation of
historical buildings and culture and Bundeli folk songs.
Rural communities in drought prone
Bundelkhand have been migrating for the last few decades to nearby towns
and cities in search of work. Radio Bundelkhand has made a series of
programmes addressing this issue of migration and rural livelihoods.
Radio reporters first tried to get an in depth understand of the real
issues affecting the community members. The villagers told the radio
reporters that farming was adversely affected due to lack of water for
irrigation. Men folk had to migrate to other places in search of jobs as
there were no industries in the area where the people of the community
could work. The rural women shared that they could not go out in search
of work as they had to look after the farms, the home and the family so
would like to have opportunities for self-employment where they could
work from home to supplement the family income.
In its livelihood programme series, Radio
Bundelkhand started giving information of various livelihood related
government departments and schemes such as Prime Minister Employment
Generation Programme, Chief Minister Swarojgar Yojana, Chief Minister
Young Entrepreneur etc. Information was also given on the radio
regarding various schemes of the Agriculture and Horticulture
Departments of the government. Many members of the community started
contacting these departments after listening to these programmes on
Radio Bundelkhand and avenues started opening up for them for
self-employment, entrepreneurship etc.
Case study of Jhalkari Bai Womenís
Self-Help Group who established their own entrepreneurial venture after
contacting Radio Bundelkhand
This self-help group of women belonging to
village Chandwani in district Niwari, were saving from 2011. One day,
the leader of the group, Kamlesh Ahirwar heard the livelihood programme
on Radio Bundelkhand and obtained information about various
self-employment schemes of the government. The group liked the idea of
making and selling incense sticks. In the next visit, the Jhalkari Bai
womenís self-help group got their registration done in the Madhya
Pradesh Khadi Gramodyog department and gave the necessary documents.
Thereafter, this group was given training wherein the women learnt
various aspects of incense sticks making. They also watched videos on
YouTube. Every woman works on the machine for 2 hours a day and earns
3000 rupees per month. Kamlesh says that during the last 1 year, the
group has earned about 30000 rupees per month. This income has helped
them improve the standard of living of their families and helped the
women in having a better say in family matters.
Chandra Prakash Niranjan
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