The 7th Community Radio Sammelan was inaugurated by Amit Khare, Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting at Dr. BR Ambedkar Bhawan, New Delhi today. Representatives of all operational Community Radio Stations across the country along with senior officials of Ministry of Information & Broadcasting were present on the occasion.A poster exhibition of Community Radio Stations was also inaugurated by Shri Amit Khare.Speaking at the inauguration, Shri Khare commended the Community Radio Stations for the zeal with which they have been spearheading the Community Radio Movement in the country. He highlighted the significance of Community Radio and the role played by these stations in disseminating information especially during the time of disasters. He added that the hard work put in by the people behind these Stations has resulted in visible changes, especially in the rural areas.He said that local language, content and requirements can be suited and adapted by Community Radio, which can act as hubs of local information dissemination at the ground level. He said that each district of the country should have at least one Community Radio, with priority being setting them up in the Aspirational Districts. He exhorted the members present to act as brand ambassadors for spreading the word about adoption of Community Radio.
With respect to the theme of the Sammelan, Shri Khare said that there exists a need to dovetail content of Community Radio with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He urged the Community Radio representatives to also spread the messages of schemes and programmes of Government, especially those which directly impact people’s lives. He also requested the representatives to identify local heroes like teachers and sportspersons from amongst the community to help make the message delivery more impactful.A short film on the step by step process for setting up of Community Radio Station was also launched by Shri Amit Khare on the occasion.Shri Atul Kumar Tiwari, Addl. Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, said that Community Radio gives a platform for local voices and is necessary for community empowerment. Stating that the theme of SDGs is “leave no one behind”, he said that the connect of individual with community and of community with nation can be strengthened through Community Radio.Ms. TCA Kalyani, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting equated the presence of representatives of all operational radio stations with a mini India under one roof, with representatives present from all across the country. She highlighted the need for capacity building for ensuring sustainability of Community Radio Stations.The plenary sessions on “The SDG Journey - leaving no one behind” was chaired by Shri Rakesh Ranjan, Senior Consultant, Niti Aayog, while that on “Community Radio: Issues, Ideas and Experiences” was chaired by Ms. Esther Kar, Former Director General, Press Information Bureau. This session focussed on content management, research, production, broadcasting and dissemination of content through social media. Community Radio Stations from Aspirational Districts, Disaster prone areas, LWE areas shared their experience. The experience of Community Radio Stations of working on SDGs, governance and nutrition along with the Government was also shared by the participants during the course of the sessions.