Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Mysore is the first city to launch it

In spite of the recent technological advances like the mobile phones, personal computers and portable hand-held laptops have made communication simpler, faster and far-reaching with information on finger tips, Television and Radio still continue to play a major role in dispensing community education programmes to the masses in addition to performing their traditional roles of providing infotainment — information and entertainment. For the first time, a community radio service was started in Mysore on a pilot basis some time ago.

The service was started only at select public parks in the city, broadcasting programmes related to education and enter-tainment, which can be heard through speakers installed at certain vantage points in the park. People who regularly visit parks for a stroll to relax and get some fresh air invariably begin to brood over their worries after taking a few steps. If instead the air is filled with lilting music or a few words of encouragement it helps the walkers. This is exactly what the newly introduced community radio services are presently doing.

Community radio broadcasting was first introduced in the city’s public parks at Sanjeevini Park near Kamakshi Hospital a couple of years ago. The residents of the localities visiting these parks can now listen to informative programmes that are being broadcast and heard through speakers just as they stroll around or sit on the benches. In addition to this, awareness programmes on various subjects are also broadcast.

Introducing community radio services in the city was jointly conceived by AIR, famously known as Mysore Akashvani and the Mysore City Corporation nearly 15 years ago and was implemented at a couple of places. But the project failed to take off due to space constraints and lack of dedication in organising and maintaining the setup, resulting in a premature demise.

However, to revive this and give another lease of life for this people-friendly project, Corporators M.V. Prasad and Nandish Preetham are doing good jobs in their wards. One of the city’s oldest parks, Thagadur Rama-chandra Rao park near Chamu-ndipuram Circle, the Snake Park in Vidyaranyapuram and the Ramalingeshwara Park and Sanjeeveni Park, are the three parks that were radio-networked to simultaneously broadcast radio programmes.

As a first step, these parks were cleaned and pruned to enable people visiting these parks to walk around freely. Arrangements were then made to simultaneously broadcast the same radio programme in all the parks. As people walked around inhaling whiffs of fresh air, they listened to the melodious music soothing the strained nerves and making their early morning or late even-ing walks even more pleasurable.

Different programmes are planned keeping in mind the tastes of diverse age group people who visit these parks daily, broadly classified as youth, students, women, elderly and senior citizens. While issues related to health, like medicine and fitness are broadcast in the mornings, entertainment and dramas are aired in the evenings. Classical music, film songs and news are also aired frequently. Thus the programmes that are broadcast cover the entire spectrum of entertainment and information.

Arrangements are also being made to air programmes that sensitise people towards social issues and create awareness about the various welfare measures taken up by the government. Information on various projects implemented by the local bodies like the City Corporation and the Government, educative programmes like maintaining hygiene and cleanliness, timely payment of taxes, keeping the city roads clean, information on waste management and preserving public utility services are some of the programmes that are aired. This also helps in educating people who visit these parks for relaxation.

There are even plans of inviting residents of the locality who have achieved excellence in their professions to deliver talks on this community radio. Professionals from all walks of life including sports, science, politics, social service and others would be invited to give lectures and motivate people. These radio broadcasts not only help talen-ted people to get their due recognition but also help the community to grow with their knowledge and experience.

Due attention is also being given to promote home grown products using this wonderful opportunity. Experts will be invited to give talks related to manufacture of home made products and growing vegetab-les in their backyard alongside some herbal medicines.

Another interesting feature that is being added is the construction of small podiums for holding cultural programmes which are being rented out to local artistes at nominal prices to conduct programmes of their choice. This also helps to nourish and encourage local talents. Arrangements are being made to set up TV screens and beam educational programmes which too serves for the growth of the community.

Garden Speakers

When listening to broadcasts like music, radio talks, sports commentaries etc., outdoors on a regular basis, garden speakers are used. Garden speakers are designed to withstand the harsh elements of nature. They come in various shapes and sizes.

They can be placed quite visibly along the side-walks or cleverly concealed among the flowers and shrubs in the garden or disguised to look like a tree stump or a large rock. The normal practice is to connect several such speakers to a single amplifier with the connecting wires running underground. It was first installed in Brindavan Gardens at KRS.

About Community Radio

Community radio is a type of radio service that offers a third model of radio broadcasting beyond commercial and public service. Community stations can serve geographic communities and communities of interest. They broadcast content that is popular to a local/specific audience but which may often be overlooked by commercial or mass-media broadcasters. Community radio stations are operated, owned, and driven by the communities they serve. Community radio is not-for-profit and provides a mechanism for facilitating individuals, groups, and communities to tell their own diverse stories, to share experiences, and in a media rich world to become active creators and contributors of media.

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