Participation of Women in Development of Community Radio
International Journal of Media Journalism and Mass Communications
Community radio in our country is a boon to many of the communities it enables many of the vulnerable people in these communities to participate in the decision making activities which can bring in a constructive change in the matters of the community .This very dynamic medium has been extensively used in many of the remote places of the country by various communities to educate, influence and evolve themselves to form a better tomorrow . This voluntarily medium, has been attracting the members
... racting the members of the remote areas in a big way. In a developing country like ours, where rural populace stills lacks basic education, awareness and involvement, this Community radio has given a fresh lease of life to many to sustain themselves in all spheres of their lives. It has helped the civil societies to move towards self sufficiency and also retaining the best in the communities through the array of programs which are conceptualised and presented by the community members only. It has really played a pivotal role at the grass root level which is emulated in other countries too. Community radio, has become a crusader in the lives of many across the country, this medium which has been supported by the community it serves , has emerged in a big way in developing countries. Other Voices (Kanchan Malik and Vindod Pawarala, 2007) has assessed the role of this alternative media as on eof the best tool for the communities and the underprivileged at the grassroots level . It has become a window for the remotest communities to integrate themselves into global economies and also develop as knowledge based economies. It has been playing a great role as a force multiplier in effective delivery of programs needed for the community on all development sectors. Each and every station has a great role in conceptualizing and executing these programs which has to come from the community members only. The indulgence of the members and to sustain themselves in running the station is a uphill task. Trainings imparted by the government and funding agencies at the various level has been instrumental in its popularity. The community radio stations in the country has been facing a lot of difficulties in sustaining themselves once they are established. The support and the encouragement of this station keep losing the fizz after few years of their inception. Many reasons has been identified such as lack of technical inputs, lack of creativity, financial crisis , lack of encouragement from the community, diminishing participation of members and so on . But, still, there are many CR stations which have proved and stood all the odds by proving their capacity to perform and bring in the change . Such CR stations are those which are under the leadership of women , who have given their best to sustain in the race by facing all the problems and overcoming it. The present paper, tries to focuses on the participation of women, with such positive outlook, who have driven the medium to a next level , in the development of community radio stations. The study has been done in the state of Karnataka, which has 13 CR stations. A multiple sampling technique has been used to select the best 4 community radio stations for the study. Keeping in view the gender perspective, the study highlights and dwell upon the role of women, in particular in the development of these community radio stations. The key roles played by the women as station managers, the content developers, the presenters and as listeners has been investigated through a systematic Focus group discussion , which has helped to elicit the information by these duty bearers . The role play of these women in the community radio has been very promising, and not only they contribute but also strive hard for the development of CR stations in the areas of their operations. The women members have been doing various experiments in the content and output which has not only yielded positive side of the medium, but also has empowered these women employees to do more though this medium. The result has been positive and thus many of them feel that the CR has become a integral part of their life and can has been instrumental in making their life more empowered. The study establishes that these community radio has worked in favour of these women to improve knowledge of solutions, in areas like health and hygiene, culture retention, rural development, participation in democratic process, education to local governance, employment opportunities and awareness related to social taboos.