In one of India’s most disadvantaged and isolated districts, Radio Mewat is sharing information and raising awareness to help women stand up for their rights against ingrained patriarchal traditions.
MEWAT, India – It’s 2:30 p.m. and a patch of drizzle have just passed over Kherla village in Haryana district, some 55 miles northwest of India’s capital, New Delhi. As the clouds break, villagers emerge from their huts to enjoy the sunshine. Elderly men prepared their hookahs, sit on a charpai – a traditional mesh bedstead – and start a game of cards. Children run around, sliding up and down a mound of mud and cow dung.
And for the village women, it’s time to gather around the radio.
Hoora Begum, 55, calls out to her neighbors, asking them to join her. She tells her daughter Farheen, 18, to lay a charpai and fetch the radio set from their hut. When the women have assembled, Begum tunes into their favorite radio program, “Apno Swasthya Apne Haath” (Our Health in Our Hands). The show, featuring discussions and advice, is broadcast on Radio Mewat, the district’s first community radio station and, for many of the women in Kherla, the only way to get information from outside the village. “This radio station is very special for us,” says Begum, as the women – some holding babies to their chests, others hiding their faces from the glances of men with hems of their saris – listen avidly. “It talks about our problems and solutions, and in our native language.”
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Source of News: News Deeply- Women and Girls Hub