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How rural women contribute to community radio

30-May-2017

Their rural background and limited educational qualification, Phadtare, Mahadik, Shaha and Kambale are among the 12 women volunteers who work for Mann Deshi Tarang Vahini

Sunanda Phadtare (50) is a vegetable vendor from village Mhaswad. Alka Mahadik (42) is a farmer from village Nevari. Manjusha Shaha (49), a homemaker, has studied up to Std X. Leela Kambale, a folk singer based in village Dhakani, has never been to school. Despite their rural background and limited educational qualification, Phadtare, Mahadik, Shaha and Kambale are among the 12 women volunteers who work for Mann Deshi Tarang Vahini (MDTV) — a community radio station that’s operational in 102 villages in Maan taluka in Satara district. These women work as volunteers and contribute towards the content that goes on air. The community radio station was launched in September 2008 in Maan taluka by NGO Maan Vikas Samajik Sanstha (MVSS), an NGO.

“Community radio means radio… with the objective of serving the cause of the community… by involving members of the community… the reason we collaborated with these women volunteers is that since they are from the Maan Deshi community, they are aware of the issues faced by the community. They convey these problems to us and that helps us organise an expert discussion around it on the radio. The very aim of launching the radio station was to enhance access to information, build local capacity and empower women to improve their lives and those of their families through creative programming,” said Chetna Sinha, founder of MVSS.

Sinha said a volunteer’s job involves broadcasting relevant content during the festival season, giving feedback on programmes, interviewing guests visiting Mhaswad, sharing suggestions on content, and for the need of programmes on issues relevant to the community such as career guidance, water literacy, health awareness, organic farming, market process, natural farming, slurry making, crop insurance etc.

While most of the 12 members have been associated with the community radio station since 2010, the rest of them joined only two or three years ago. Kerabai Sargar (50), an illiterate goatkeeper from Didvaghvadi village, joined the radio station in 2010. She sings folk songs and conducts interviews on topics such as farming and drought.

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News Source- The Indian Express