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Gist of YOJANA : Role Of Community Radio In Disaster Management And Climate – Change communication

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  • Published
    27th Feb, 2020

  • Community Radio provides an opportunity for the community to speak about issues concerning their lives. Community radios are also prominently being used in Nepal, Bangladesh, and the Philippines for rural development. They are equally popular in Canada, America, Australia, and South Africa. 

Development of Community Radio in India  

  • In December 2002, the Government released a policy that allowed well-established educational institutions to set up Community Radio Station.
  • The Government in November 2006 implemented new Community Radio Guidelines permitting non-profit organizations to own and operate community radio stations.

Benefits of community radio

  • Community Radio helps to communicate with communities in local languages using terms and phrases that are easily and locally understood. Communicating local knowledge, needs, and demands beyond the community to inform policy, research, and other communities.
  • Bringing together people from frequently disconnected stakeholder groups such as livelihoods, community leaders, Organizations and governance.

Community Radio and Disaster Management

  • The presence of community radio in every phase of a disaster (mitigation, preparation, early warning, response, recovery and revitalization) is essential.
  • It enables the exchange and sharing of information and dialogue among residents as well as the enhancement of the community’s capability and of self-governance ability.
  • Community radio can play a crucial role in disaster management via assisting the community at 3 stages:-

        a. Pre-Disaster
      • In the pre-disaster stage, community radio stations can provide guidance regarding its preparedness.
      • Information regarding gathering locations and safety shelters can be disseminated.  Another important task is broadcasting warning signals in case there is a calamity foreseen or likely to occur.
      • It breaks the barriers of literacy and economic status in bringing people together in times of disaster.
      • While television networks break down almost instantly in the face of natural disasters, radio carries with it the potential for continued functioning in such times.

        b.  During Disaster
        • At the time of a disaster, most forms of communication are disrupted barring radio signals; Community radio can help the community link with the relief agencies and Government control room.
        • Information and announcement regarding vulnerable areas, which require immediate evacuation, can be broadcasted and the community members can be guided to safety shelters where they can access aid and rescue facilities.

          c. Post Disaster
          • Having a medium of communication in their own language or dialect can help in strengthening the morale of the community.
          • Community radio provides an indigenous solution to a problem that is being faced at a large scale in the country these days.
          • It can be an important component of rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts.
          • The need is to build the capacity of operating personnel of community radio and equip them to handle and disseminate disaster-related information in an optimal manner.

        Significance of community Radio: During forest fires in summer, landslides in monsoon, etc. rural communities constantly struggle and their isolated situation does not help the cause. Community radio has the power to organize and provide information and connect these communities to the much-needed aid and relief.  Also, since the content is in the local dialect it can help curb miscommunication and misinformation in times of panic.  

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