The radio, since its inception, has not only changed the face of media in a country of 1.2 billion people with more than 1652 native tongues, but has also proved itself countless times to be an effective medium in reaching every corner of the country, case in point PM Narendra Modi’s Mann Ki Baat.
Commercial FM radio aside, there’s community radio which is run by non-profits and other organizations for the welfare of society.
Radio Nazariya 107.8, in Ahmedabad, is one such community radio station. Although the idea for this station was conceived in 2010 by non-profit organisation Drishti, the station only received their license last year, but have made full use of the airwaves to engage their listeners and encourage them to be active participants in improving their community.
Over a telephonic interview with Kerosene Digital, Swati Joshi, Project Coordinator of Nazariya comments, “Considering the country’s current media and political scenario, Radio Nazariya helped me understand a strong need for community based media to bring out the voices of the marginalised to the forefront.”
Nazariya’s RJs find ways to empower their listeners through various shows. For instance, Abhivyakthi showcases Gujarati poetry, literature and other local talent found on the streets of Ahemdabad, while Behengiri discusses women’s issues such as rape or spousal abuse, and also features women entrepreneurs.
“Behengiri is quite a popular show among our listeners. It’s pleasantly surprising to us that a growing number of callers are men who talk about women’s rights and equal opportunities which means we are doing well and Abhivyakthi is also popular because of its mass appeal especially towards the youth of Gujarat,” said Swati.
Each show requires a lot of time and effort. For instance, they take seven days to research and write about an entire issue. However, “the biggest challenge, however, is funding,” says Swati. We are also trying to promote and advertise our station which also requires lot of money.”
Despite these challenges, Nazariya has been slowly getting traction over the past year and are trying to expand their run time for various shows. “Our channel has 50% talk and 50% music for seven hours every day. We are trying to go up to 12 hours every day now,” mentioned Swati.
This is no doubt thanks to their team – a mix of people from different caste, class, gender, community and educational backgrounds – who are passionate about making a change and are willing to put in the hard work that’s needed.
Nazariya means “perspective” and Swati and Team Nazariya is trying to educate, inspire and engage their listeners about a variety of issues in the hopes of effecting change and progress, and create a just and an equal society. They are determined to keep going until that’s achieved.
For more information on Radio Nazariya, visit their Facebook page.
Written by Sumit Dasgupta
Feature image source:Radio Nazariya