A village named Pastapur in the Sangareddy district of Telangana runs a community radio. The specialty of that community radio is that it is run by the women, and caters to women only. The small village where the radio station is located is at a distance of 110 Km from Hyderabad.

Sangam Radio

The name of the radio is ‘Sangam Radio‘. It covers almost 150 villages transmitting programs related to social messages, folk songs, farming and health tips, and also has information about fairs and festivals in their area. Their programming methodology also includes short skits and dramas through which they try to communicate educational messages to women and other people.

“You can see people in all these villages glued to their radio sets in the evenings to listen to our programs. We also have an interactive session where callers can share their experiences with us,” H Narsamma said.

The producer of Sangam radio is H Narsamma, she is the brain behind this revolutionary initiative and she belongs to the Dalit community. She works along with her colleagues in the morning. The team sets up a target of programs that is to be aired by that evening itself. Most of the stories which these women collect are pretty much relatable with the lives of women from rural areas. The programme is broadcast from 7 pm to 9 pm every day.

“You can see people in all these villages glued to their radio sets in the evenings to listen to our programs. We also have an interactive session where callers can share their experiences with us,” H Narsamma said.

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She added that when the women from their team visit a particular village, they meet different kinds of people. In the process, they record their observations on various issues, ranging from farming to health and education. Sometimes, they also record songs that are sung by other women while working in the fields or during weddings and festivals. All these songs and performances are later used by the production team for entertainment purpose.

The interesting part is that all women from the community are multitaskers, they co-ordinate together on several tasks. For example, two women, one being Narsamma and the other Algole Narsamma work as reporters, producers, Radio Jockeys, and as station managers too.  The women’s groups who  conceive and execute are called  Sangams.

Women Community Of Sangam Radio

Sangam Radio in reality started its operations in 1999. Initially, it started by narrow-casting the programs. However, the limitation of narrow-casting is that the programs are available for only a fewer audience at a time. However, the radio community has overcome this limitation by training the women from Dalit, poor, landless families in all aspects of radio programming.

The Sangam radio was started by the community of women with the help of DDS. The Deccan Development Society is a non-profit organisation that helps to provide an impetus to various latent projects.

Deccan Development Society

The Sangam radio was started by the community of women with the help of Deccan Development Society (DDS). The DDS is a non-profit organisation that helps to provide an impetus to various latent projects. It is engaged in the field of rural development, women empowerment, and education as well. The project was started in the year 1998 but it got the license from the Centre after 10 years. It went on air on October 15, 2008.

The Director of DDS, PV Satheesh said, “We were identified as a partner for UNESCO’s ‘Women Speak to Women’ project. As part of this, we established the radio station with the programming content aimed at serving the information, education, and cultural needs of the region.”

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