Aufruf zur Unterstützung

Drucken

Liebe Freund*innen des Freien Radios,

in Indien haben AktivistInnen in den letzten 20 Jahren eine wirksame und interventionistische Szene von Community-Radios aufbauen können, die sich stark und laut in gesellschaftliche Prozesse einmischen. Der Prototyp dieser Szene ist ein von Frauen betriebenes Radio in der Nähe von Hyderabad, das nun auf Hilfe angewiesen ist. Bitte teilt den Aufruf in Euren Radios, der uns vom UNESCO chair und einem der HauptprotagonistInnen freien Radios in Indien Vinod Pavarala zugesandt wurde:

Dear friends: This is the story of India's first rural community radio station that went on air in October 2008. The station, as many of you know, is run by a couple of dynamic dalit women and supported against great odds by the rural women's collectives in the Zaheerabad region of the state of Telangana. In the true spirit of community radio, the Deccan Development Society, the NGO that initiated this project, has been actively encouraging the station to become autonomous in terms of its programming as well as finances during the past decade of its existence.

Sustainability, as the buzzword in community media goes, has been an extremely challenging condition to achieve, given a whole set up of circumstances in which civil society organizations in the country have been under tremendous stress in the last four years, farm incomes of small and marginal farmers have been on the decline, especially in the dryland areas of Telangana, and state support for community radio has almost sputtered to a halt. As the appeal put out by Sangham Radio points out, external funding to the station has been very hard to come by. The indirect support provided by the Central government through advertising of state welfare schemes has functioned erratically, to say the least. Like many other community radio stations in the country, Sangham has failed to receive the promised money due to it from the government as payment for advertising, which now stands at a whopping Rs.325,000. With vital infrastructure in need of replacement, the station is staring at closu re.

Sangham Radio's potential closure would be emblematic of the dire situation in which the community radio sector finds itself in the country today. Content regulations choking the possibilities of the medium and funding restrictions inhibiting the sustenance of the stations, it could become the beginning of the end for community radio in India.

Please follow the link above to read the appeal issued by Sangham Radio. I hope we can all respond to save this station, which, for years during the struggle for community radio in India, was a beacon of hope for marginalized voices left out of mainstream media. It was here that the famous Pastapur Declaration was released seeking an independent, third-sector broadcasting in India a little under two decades ago. It was this that had inspired many of us to join the effort to forge a vibrant community radio movement in the country.

warm regards,

Vinod--

Dr. Vinod Pavarala
Professor of Communication &
UNESCO Chair on Community Media
Sarojini Naidu School of Arts & CommunicationUniversity of Hyderabad Gachibowli, Hyderabad 500046
Phone: +91-40-23135501/23011553
http://www.commuoh.in/
http://www.uccommedia.in