The presence of this community Radio stations has earmarked the media development in Odisha. It can be termed as a developmental media unit or emergence of a Parallel line in the Mass Communication Field. But in common man?s perspective it is popularized as the voice of the mass. Generally, in Odisha, political ownership has dominated the media since the emergence of new economic era. Each and every big media house is associated directly or indirectly to some political parties.
They are representing the voice of the mass with a hidden agenda. In this scenario the evolution of such community media platform is really admirable since, it is the only media platform which conceived to be controlled by the community or public. Before 2006 in India community owned media is only in theory of broadcasting. Thanks to Mr. Raghav Mattoo of a small Bihari Village Mansoor pur, who has brought the concept into reality. He had not undergone any training and also he is not a rich fellow. But in just Rs. 50 he started the Radio station named Mansoorpur FM. The BBC called Raghav?s Mansoorpur FM the amazing do it yourself village FM Radio Station.
Beside attempts are made much before in 1996 to set community radio stations in India. Some Social activists on this year hammer out a Bangalore declaration on community Radio as an alternative to public service and commercial radio. These activists have noted that Nepal and Srilanka were far ahead in this regard. Even in Nepal Bhojpuri programs are being broadcasted to catch the mass of Bihar. There is no separate policy in this regard. Further more? and it is also evident that when people especially the poor can participate in the communication process and consensus building about issues that affect their lives, it helps them to cast off their traditional state of apathy and stimulates them to mobilize and organize to help themselves? (UNESCO-2001).
After so much discussions and deliberations, in 2002 Govt of India opened the door of Community Radio stations only to Govt institutes and Universities. Still it was in dilemma why the Govt is no allowing the communities to open their own Media. With the pressures of international and state voluntary leaders and think tanks on ordinary people to access information, de-centralization and the democratization of information, the Ministry adopted the policy to include Social organizations to set CRS in 2006. Regulations has been relaxed and also the application process. On the other hand the fees in different sectors like wireless operating license, Grant of Permission, Bank guarantee, etc., has also being relaxed considering the community participation and minimizing the gap between media and common people. This is the reason behind the growth of Community Radio Channels in India.
But like other indicators Odisha is much behind the scene. While Maharastra has 16 numbers of CRSs, Karnataka 10, Rajasthan 06, Tamilnadu 20 number of operational CRSs as on the data placed by ministry of I&B in 2nd Community Radio Summit held on February 2012, Odisha only has 2 numbers of Radio stations. Odisha?s name was added in this field in 2010 when NA Ansari conceived the idea of setting a CRS in Konark on behalf of Young India a youth Organisation. After the summit of February 2012 the number of CRS in Odisha has grown up to 5 including one University Radio Station at Ravenshaw University.
Another University Radio station of Siksha O Anusandhan University, Bhubaneswar is searching a date for its inauguration. On the other hand eight more Social organizations are holding LOI to set CRS in respective project areas. Still the number is not encouraging. The community Organizations should come forward to give a voice to the community. They may be in a question how to make a sustainable CRS in the 2nd compendium of CRSs in February 2012 at New Delhi it was also raised by the stake holders. Some are in doubt that the Community Radio stations are in the group of welfare and can not broadcast advertisements.
But it is wrong. For sustainability advertising of open market revenue collection is permissible. Even DAVP has empanelled Radio stations to provide commercials, In Odisha Radio Sanskar 91.2FM is far ahead in revenue collection and programming than other stations. Although it is not empanelled with DAVP but it is preparing commercials for its clients and broadcasting them for revenue like other commercial FMs. It has its own tariff card. It is collecting Rs. 5,000 per month from the clients to run its commercials. In this regard it is collecting an amount of nearly fifty thousand per month on average. This amount is being shared among the Radio jockeys, sound engineers and other professionals said the secretary of the parent organisation Mr. Manoj Das. One major part is reserved for welfare activities.
Recently to encourage our community went for plantation activities. Open spaces and college grounds are planted by our members. This initiative has increased our listenership and popularity. Even people are becoming less interested in listening other Commercial FMs. They listen their own programs. If community oriented programs will be made then revenue will not be a problem. Now in just one year we are going to be self-sufficient.
The agriculture department is also helping us in revenue and in content, so we do not have any problem in the management and better infrastructure he said. We are now trying to attract more and more commercial clients as the grants of the Govt agencies will decrease. On the Other hand no other Radio station is in the effort of self sustainability, which is to be taken care of. Otherwise after three years of Departmental support the Radio stations will be in pen and paper only.
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