India's and Asia's first all-women community radio station

india-womenradio

Radio Sangham was the first station in Asia to be completely owned, managed and operated by women from marginalized rural communities. It provides a platform for Dalit and other low cast women to voice the perspectives and needs of vulnerable communities.

 

 

 

 

Title: Sangham Radio: community radio station empowers Dalit women

Country: India

Organization/s: Deccan Development Society (DDS), UNESCO

Theme: Agriculture, Gender Equality

Overview of activities: 

Sangham Radio was inaugurated in 2008 as the first all woman community radio in Asia. The radio was created with the help of the Deccan Development Society (DDS) and of UNESCO and is located in the Machnoor village, Pastapur, in the Medak district of Andhra Pradesh, one of the least developed and arid regions in India.

It is completely owned, managed and operated by women from marginalized rural communities and provides a platform for Dalit and other low cast women to voice the perspectives and needs of vulnerable communities.

Methodology: 

Every day Sangham Radio broadcasts for an hour and a half over an area covering 75 villages: over the last 15 years DDS has established 75 ‘Sanghams’, voluntary associations of poor women, in these villages with a total of 5000 members. Within these sanghams, women have the possibility to discuss land regeneration, ecological agriculture, community land ownership and cultivation. Over the years they have demonstrated collective leadership, creative financial management and have put gender issues on the forefront.

Issues and topics raised and discussed during meetings in the sanghams are collected and the pool of knowledge generated becomes the base for the programming content of the station, which seeks to serve the information, education and cultural needs of the region.

Major outcomes:

Today Sangham Radio’s programmes promote the following:

  • Information specific to agricultural needs of semi-arid regions
  • Education and literacy – both formal and non-formal
  • Public health and hygiene
  • Environmental and ecological issues
  • Biodiversity and food security
  • Gender justice
  • Local/indigenous knowledge systems
  • Local cultures, with emphasis on the narrative traditions of song and drama

Although Sangham Radio has benefited from external support, mainly to purchase the necessary infrastructure, its sustainability is firmly rooted in the social and economic support of the local community. The radio itself is financed thanks to a monthly Rs 50 contribution by each of its members: for the women involved in Sangham Radio autonomy means not only self sufficiency in food production but also media autonomy.

Contact:

Website: http://www.ddsindia.com

Email: ddshyderabad@gmail.com

Councillor John Tarawe
Chief Executive Officer, eBario Sdn Bhd
Mobile phone: +6 019 438 1777