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14869 Audio Programmes | 34 Program Languages | 45 Program Themes | 156 CR Stations | 56 CR Initiatives | and growing...

India’s first community radio still makes the right connect.

06-Jun-2017

Sangam, which went on air in 2008, continues its two-hour broadcast in Telugu and reaches out to people of 150 villages in Telangana Musligari Nagamani, a farmer, is listening to the radio sitting a few inches away from her as she cooks dinner on firewood in her tiled-roof house. The broadcast in Telugu is peppered with local colloquialisms and slang. This is how evenings are spent in most houses in Pastapur, a village in the Jarasangam mandal of the Sangareddy district, ever since the very popular Sangam Radio, the first community radio in India, was launched in 2008 after decade-long efforts to get the license for it.

Sangam, which went on air in 2008, continues its two-hour broadcast in Telugu and reaches out to people of 150 villages in Telangana

Musligari Nagamani, a farmer, is listening to the radio sitting a few inches away from her as she cooks dinner on firewood in her tiled-roof house. The broadcast in Telugu is peppered with local colloquialisms and slang. This is how evenings are spent in most houses in Pastapur, a village in the Jarasangam mandal of the Sangareddy district, ever since the very popular Sangam Radio, the first community radio in India, was launched in 2008 after decade-long efforts to get the license for it.

Off the main road of Zaheerabad, it takes 10 kilometres down a right turn to reach the radio station, which cannot be seen from the road since it is surrounded by trees. The tower that broadcasts eagerly awaited transmissions for two hours every evening sticks out from over them.

“We relax and listen to the radio while preparing dinner. We hear our language in our way of speaking. It makes me feel like one of our neighbours is talking to us about different things,” says Nagamani who, like her mother M. Ratnamma, prefers to listen to the radio than sit in front of the TV.

“Villagers feel happy when they hear their voice on the radio in the form of songs or discussions. They will also share this joyfully with their neighbours. The song the community radio plays depends on the season, whether it time to plough, plant seeds, irrigate or harvest. The songs recall our tiring work at the field in the morning,” says Begari Sammamma of the village of Bidakanne. Over the years, Sangam has collected of about 2,500 songs sung by members of the community, often with instrumental accompaniment. Apart from songs, programmes can feature farming practices, how to observe festivals, birthday wishes and health tips.

Interactive mode

The last half hour is allotted for listeners who want to call broadcasters and share their views with them. For example, missing cattle are reported and traced with the help of listeners. “The owners contact the radio to thank the listeners,” she added.

Sangam reaches about 150 villages in Jarasangam, Zaheerabad and Raikod, and parts of Kohir and Nyalkal, everyday from 7 p.m. to 9. p.m. Each village has a population of between 600 to 1,200 people. Transmission has never been disrupted in the last eight years, except on four days due to a short circuit.

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NEWS Source- The Hindu