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COMMUNITY

DRISHTI, IN PARTNERSHIP
RADIO
WITH SELECT INDIAN
NGO’S, IS LEADING A
MOVEMENT TO ESTABLISH
COMMUNITY-DRIVEN
RADIO STATIONS IN INDIA.

MEET 8 COMMUNITY
REPORTERS WORKING IN
RURAL ANDHRA
PRADESH TO LOCALIZE
MEDIA AND EMPOWER
COMMUNITY VOICES.
TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABOUT COMMUNITY MEDIA…………………………. 2


ABOUT DRISHTI………………………………………. 3
ABOUT LAYA……………………………………….... 4
QUOTE…………………………………………………. 5
COMMUNITY REPORTER PROFILES
DURGA RAO 7
LOVA KUMARI 8
RAMANAMMA 9
ANNAPURNA 10
KRUPAVATHI 11
VIJAYA KUMARI 12
JOGI REDDY 13
KANAKAMAHALAXMI 14

Translation: Karuna D’Souza, Drishti & Ravi Raja Javvadi, LAYA


Interview: Kaberi Choudhury, Drishti & Alana Kinarsky, Drishti
Photography: Alana Kinarsky
Design: Alana Kinarsky

To create this document each Community Reporter was asked to answer a few
questions about themselves and their work. Their written responses were translated
from Telugu to English and then summarized.
Community media is an important tool for communication,
resistance, education, and cultural expression.
Furthermore, It is crucial to the livelihood of a vibrant and
democratic media. After a decade long movement to free
India’s airwaves, community radio was rejuvenated in 2006
with the passing of the Community Radio Law permitting
community based organizations and NGO’s to start their own
radio stations. Drishti has been fighting for a community’s
right to create and manage radio programming since the
90’s. With the potential to engage 50,000 - 75,000 listeners
daily, community radio expands an NGO’s reach and
empowers communities to access and exercise their rights.
By demystifying technology and breaking the digital divide,
marginalized communities gain access and control over
media tools needed to secure their freedom of speech. By
putting media into the hands of everyday citizens we are
empowering community voices and localizing development.

Stations spearheaded by Drishti are of the people, for


the people, and by the people to defend and promote their
rights, culture, and environment.

We seek to not only create local media, but to build participants’


abilities to communicate effectively and think analytically so they
will grow as leaders and activists.
Drishti is a Gujarat based organization using media and the
arts to build empowered communities that value self-expression and uphold
human rights. Committed to building a media of the people, for the people and
by the people in partnership with NGO’s around India, they use community video
and radio to empower and revolutionize grassroot struggles and to promote
sustainable development.
LAYA is a non-profit organization in East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh
working with tribal communities to secure access and control of their land (including
forest and water resources), to promote sustainable livelihood, and to ensure self-
governance to encourage the survival of tribal identity and value systems. They
provide legal assistance and advocacy, encourage sustainable resource
management, and empower women while also building the capacity of tribal youth.
“ Never doubt
that a small
group of
thoughtful
committed
citizens can
change the
world.
Indeed, it is
the only thing
that ever has. ”
-Margaret Mead
MEET
OUR
GROUP
Durga Rao
26 years old

Community Radio allows me to collect and share the many narratives of


my people through audio. I am passionate about storytelling, as well as
singing, and believe that through radio we are able to share a diversity of
experiences with a wide audience. Many. The radio station is going to be
our platform to discuss health, agriculture, education, and local culture. I
am excited to be a part of something that will better the lives of the
Adivasi community, while also improving my ability to write well and
enhancing my computer literacy.

Drishti + LAYA Community Radio Unit


Lova Kumari
19 years old

After completing the tenth grade, I did a vocational course in sewing and
worked long hours at a threads factory in Chennai. I wanted to be closer
to my family and home, so after a year I left Chennai. The Community
Radio Program is giving me the opportunity to learn and work in and for
my own community. For the people here, this station establishes an open
and fair space to discuss and debate relevant issues. We are working to
unify the Adivasi community and help further development in this area. I
am excited to start creating audio programs and eager to show the world
what I can accomplish.

Drishti + LAYA Community Radio Unit


Ramanamma
20 years old

I am the mischievous one of the group because I ask many questions and
always speak my mind. When I approached my husband and mother-in-
law for permission to join the Community Radio team, they forbid me to
work outside the home. However, I protested until they began to
appreciate the value and importance of community development.
Through the station, I want to bring information into my community and
educate my neighbors about what is happening around the world. Here
we live and find joy in the present moment; I hope we can incorporate this
philosophy into our work while also demonstrating the importance of
planning ahead.

Drishti + LAYA Community Radio Unit


Annapurna
20 years old

I am here to learn everything I do not yet know! Having worked as an


education volunteer and a bookkeeper, I am now looking forward to
learning how to use a computer and run a station as a Community
Reporter. I believe it is important to bring relevant, local news to this area
so that we can have all the information we need to improve our own
situation. My community has a rich culture that should be shared and
celebrated, but we also have problems that require debate. The radio
station will enable us to make our own lives better; I am excited to build
our future!

Drishti + LAYA Community Radio Unit


Krupavathi
25 years old

As a Community Reporter, I identify and research local problems and then


work with the team to brainstorm solutions that can improve our
community. My people should be aware of the long-term effects of
alcohol, the negative impact of child marriage, how to be financially
responsible, new approaches to agriculture, and so much more. As a
young girl, I had to abandon my studies and get married to a man who
later left me for another woman. I moved back to my mother’s home with
my 9-year-old son and got involved with the station. Now I am learning
many new skills such as research, computer, and audio editing.

Drishti + LAYA Community Radio Unit


Vijaya Kumari
20 years old

After completing my undergraduate studies, I taught elementary school


and then went on to become a health worker. I learned about local health
problems, symptoms and treatments of malaria, as well HIV testing and
treatment methodologies. Now, as a Community Reporter, I am able to
share medical news with listeners and ensure that people live healthier
lives. Media has always been brought to us from elsewhere, but now we
are broadcasting information that is locally relevant and important.
Everyone is eager to listen because it is locally generated content and in
the local language.

Drishti + LAYA Community Radio Unit


Jogi Reddy
30 years old

I was drawn to the Community Radio program because I believe in


media’s ability to hold government responsible. For years, information
about government schemes have not been reaching the Adivasi people, a
community that is often exploited because of their low literacy rates. Our
station can spread important information and increase access. I am also
deeply concerned about land encroachment by non-tribal communities,
which is hindering our livelihood. I am determined to harness the power
of radio to broadcast information and raise awareness amongst the local
people.

Drishti + LAYA Community Radio Unit


Kanakamahalaxmi
22 years old

I used to wake up, work the fields, do housework, tutor kids after school,
and make dinner for my family every day. Now, as a Community Radio
Reporter, I am busy developing a strategy on what kind of content and
programs our station will bring to this community. I spend my days
learning to use a computer, playing the dappu (a local drum) and studying
English so that I can communicate with the entire world. I am excited for
the station to give us a voice by airing programs in our dialect on our
traditional farming methods, diverse festivals, and way of live.

Drishti + LAYA Community Radio Unit


OVER THE NEXT DECADE, DRISHTI AIMS TO
USE PARTICIPATORY MEDIA AND ART TO
EMPOWER THE VOICES OF MARGINALIZED
COMMUNITIES WORLDWIDE AND TO ENGAGE
TODAY'S YOUTH WITH THE CRITICAL ISSUES
FACING OUR COMMUNITIES.

LEND YOUR SUPPORT


WWW.DRISHTIMEDIA.ORG

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