Odisha Channel Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 23: Community empowerment is the key to development of the nation and community radio will empower the masses in remote areas where mainstream media has not reached, said Madhusudan Padhi, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Information and Public Relations Department of Odisha Government here today.Inaugurating the Community Radio Association of Odisha, Padhi assured the Association that henceforth I&PR Department will share government news with all community radios across the state to reach more people.
Responding to the representation of the association, Padhi said there is a need to develop a policy in government for allowing advertisements in radio. At present the State has no policy regarding advertisement in radio and All India Radio has just been an exception.
Padhi also unveiled the logo of the Association on the occasion.Speaking as a guest on the occasion, Ghasiram Panda, Senior Programme Manager, ACTIONAID, exhorted the government to promote community radio in the State as it has been reaching the people who have been deprived of access by mainstream media.
In his welcome address, Biswajit Padhi of Radio Swayamshakti appealed to the government to use the medium to reach the masses which will promote transparency in public life. Presiding over the meeting, president of the Association N.A.Shah Ansari informed that sustainability of the Radio being a major issue government agencies must come forward to improve content of community media which will fulfill the aspiration of the people.
There has not been much enthusiasm in sharing programmes, schemes and plans of the government so far, he lamented.The Community Radio Association of Odisha with a membership of seven functional radios and another 25 LoI (Letter of Intent) holders was formalised in a grand function here in Bhubaneswar.The movement is in a very nascent stage as we have applicants only from 19 districts of Odisha said Pradip Dutta, Secretary of the association.No application has been received from districts such as Malkangiri, Nabrangapur, Mayurbhanj, Rayagada, Jharsuguda and Ganjam.Presently, the licensing procedure is not only cumbersome but also time taking spanning from three to five years.
Most of these radios are located in remote areas where scope for generating revenue to run them are very few which is why there is a greater need to support them.The inauguration was followed by a consultation which discussed among other things content generation, sustainability, networking, technology, policy and resilience building.