Radio as a civic tool: Voice of Chhattisgarh

http://cgnetswara.org

CG Net Swara (Voice of Chhattisgarh) is a radio station broadcast from one of the poorest states in India. Chhattisgarh is part of India’s Red Corridor, making it a particularly unstable area. The concept behind the station is very simple but probably invaluable. Basically, it uses the idea of citizen journalists to run the majority of its programming. Ordinary people can call up and record messages discussing issues of local interest. They can also call that same number and listen to messages that have been saved by people in their community. Once a message is saved, it is listened to and verified by trained journalists.

 

Some of the more recent calls include:

 

“Cholera like disease spreading in Kota block, Bilaspur district of Chhattisgarh”

“In our village school teachers selling food meant for students, coming late”

“Only 1/3rd adivasis got land under Forest Rights Act in my village, Pls help”

 

And these are just from the past 24 hours or so. Clearly, this station is filling a huge void.

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