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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Visit to Radio Brahmaputra- a Community Radio Station with Many Dreams

Writer at BCRS
13 February, UNESCO encourages all countries to celebrate this day as World Radio Day — a day to celebrate radio as a medium; to improve international cooperation between broadcasters; and to encourage major networks and community radio alike to promote access to information and freedom of expression over the airwaves. As a radio hobbyist I marked this special day by visiting and spending few moments with few enthusiastic and dedicated community radio workers at the Radio Brahmaputra- the first non-commercial radio station in North-Eastern Region, set up in 2010 near the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra in Dibrugarh district of upper Assam.

As radio continues to evolve in the digital age, it remains the medium that reaches the widest audience worldwide. This multi-purpose medium can help people, including youth, to engage in discussions on topics that affect them. It can save lives during natural or human-made disasters; and it provides journalists with a platform to report facts and tell their stories. With such and many more dreams and aim a community radio station under the banner of Brahmaputra Community Radio Station (BCRS) was set up in 2010 by the Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES) in collaboration with UNICEF. Radio Brahmaputra was scheduled to start broadcasting in 2012, but till today they are awaiting a formal frequency allotment by the government. But they are now well prepared to broadcast in five different languages and dialects with the direct involvement of local communities. These languages are Assamese, Chadri (tea garden dialect), Bodo, Mishing and Bhojpuri (dialect of migrant community from Bihar & Uttar Pradesh). Radio Brahmaputra is dedicated to serve the people within coverage of 10-15 KM radius to disseminate information on social, 
cultural and political issues as well as foster local cultures and talents. Presently a team of 19 dedicated youths are involved in this project with huge prospects of quality radio broadcasts and most of them are recruited from these five communities living in station's target area and a network of 150 volunteers spread across islands, tea gardens and urban areas are also associated with this station. Presently they are producing programs on health issues, agricultural topics, community based programs on education issues, radio chat shows, music, information based programmes, radio drama, interviews, quiz show among school children, special programmes for women and older people, covering cultural events, folk music and public service
announcements and presently "narrow casting" among target audience in their coverage area, gathering programme feedback from the community listeners and helping them to consider it as their own media and to speak on their own issues. It is gaining acceptance not only as a media but as choupal to all, getting communities together to exchange their views, improve mutual understanding and respect.

BCRS Program Coordinator Bhaskar Jyoti Bhuyan expressed his concern on the delay in spectrum allotment (frequency allocation) to Radio Brahmaputra, but he and his entire team is hopeful that once they get the formal licence and as soon as their reach become more direct and large to their target audience they are keeping many dreams alive to serve the local community towards a new dawn of knowledge and entertainment. Radio Brahmaputra already has a website and they have Podcasts of some of their program on experimental basis, and they hope that soon they will provide the radio world with the best radio programs from the banks of Brahmaputra.

Please Visit BCRS Website: http://radiobrahmaputraa.webs.com/


House of Radio Brahmaputra at Maijanghat, Dibrugarh


1 comment:

Singh Style said...

interesting & interactive information...