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A community radio station that deals with traffic and gender issues alike


If you are in Gurugram and switch your radio device to 107.8 MHz, you are likely to stumble upon Folk songs of Garhwal and Kumaon of Central Himalaya along with traditional Bhojpuri folk of Northern India.

A community radio under the banner of 'Gurgaon Ki Awaaz' is what most of the migrant residents of rural Gurugram are interested in.

"Under the shadow of these corporate skyscrapers, malls and fancy restaurants there is a gaon(village) which is struggling to fit into the image of one of the fastest growing economic zone in India. Our aim here is to cater to the interest of the people living in such gaon (villages)," said Vandana Thapliyal, 25-year-old Radio Jockey at Gurgaon ki Awaaz.

The only community radio station in the city, 'Gurgaon Ki Awaaaz' is providing service to the community since it's inception 7 years ago which is managed and run by a team of five enthusiastic women.

Inside the studio, Taj Mohammad is confidently recording his half an hour show titled 'Apni Pasand', a show where many of the active listeners are provided with the opportunity of being a radio jockey.

"My experience of Gurgaon wasn't very good. I struggled to cope up with the lifestyle here. Being harassed by the landlord, so many times I regretted my decision of coming into this city. Then this radio station lets me express my grief and pain to other people also. I later realised this was a common problem with thousands of people," said Mohammad who hails from Eastern Uttar Pradesh.

From making people aware of the traffic situation to the gender issues of the city, the radio station organises live shows which mainly takes consideration of gender issues of the people in rural areas. Sharing her own experience in the city, Vandana said, "My family shifted to this city from Pauri when I was 9. It really shocked me that just talking to boys in class was a cardinal sin in school. I later realised that there were many others in the city who were really struggling with the Patriarchal ideology."

"There are a lot of migrants here who want to listen to their folk songs and we play a lot of these here, from Raagni of Haryana to Maithili of Bihar, the whole India can listen to us," said Sharmila Devi, a ground reporter.

A 22-hour service, covering the radius of 20 km in the city is one of the 179 community radio stations in India.

For Azghar Ashk, he has evolved as a radio jockey indulging with the people from the rural areas of the city. "I am learning a lot of things here. It is the only place in the radio world where I can learn about the civic behaviour and gender sensitivity along with the songs in our mother tongue. Where else can you get such a luxury?" said Azghar praising the content of the bandwidth.

"During the initial period of broadcasting, it became very difficult for us to deal with the response that we got from people regarding a show titled 'Chahat Chowk' dealing with sexual desire and the menstrual problem faced by women. Patriarchy is the greatest hindrance here and we will do our best effort to deal with it." added Vandana.

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News Source- DNA