The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has launched its first-ever community radio in collaboration with Society for Development Alternatives, a Delhi-based NGO, on October 23 at Taragram, Orchha in Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh. This has become possible after the Ministry’s permission to Society for Development Alternatives to establish, maintain and operate a community radio. Thirty-four NGOs have so far got MIB’s permission to set up and operate community radio stations across India.
The Government of India had, in December 2006, liberalised the Policy on Community Radio by bringing in the civil society and voluntary organisations, agricultural universities, ICAR institutions, Krishi Vigyan Kendras, etc., under its ambit. The Policy was liberalised with a view to allowing greater participation by the civil society on issues of development and social change.
The community radio initiative aims to empower women, youth and marginalised groups to take part in local self-governance and overall socio-economic and cultural development of the area.
The Society for Development Alternatives, among other things, is engaged in natural resource management through a range of activities involving conversion of wasteland to productive land, water conservation and promotion of appropriate farming practices and livestock management. Besides, the society is developing partnerships and alliances with banks, research institutes, government departments, panchayats and civil society organisations to ensure convergence of developmental goals in Bundelkhand.