“Radio is such a medium that even while cooking we can listen to the news, music and folk songs.” shares a happy listener of Lalit Lokvani.
Lalit Lokvani is a community radio station in Alapur village of Lalitpur district in Uttar Pradesh, catering to the needs of 120 villages in a 15 km radius. It was established in August 2007 and reaches about 2.5 lakh listeners spread across villages of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
As per the Policy Guideline for setting up community radio stations released by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, “The basic objective of the Community Radio broadcasting would be to serve the cause of the community in the service area by involving members of the community in the broadcast of their programmes.”
Lalit Lokvani is a perfect example of such a community station. Each episode is made after an extensive research on the subject after assessing the community’s information needs. Further, the subject is discussed with the community and their suggestions are taken into consideration. Village reporters from 60 villages have been trained for the same. These reporters run a Srota Samuh (listener’s group) in each village where content is shared.
This radio station is a great source of information and entertainment to people in Lalitpur, especially for women who are more than often restricted to homes without any avenue of exposure or relaxation. It also provides a platform to small-time performers from the community to reach out to more people. They also have an efficient system of feedback with an automated call recording system where people can leave messages.
However, this success story was not made possible in a day. Many challenges had to be overcome over the years to run this station. Things began to pick up only after UNICEF recognised their efforts and funded the station.
“We’d like to broadcast 24 hours a day. We’d like more people listening in and joining us and avail maximum benefits .” This is their vision as was shared by Ajay Srivastava, Secretary of Lalit Lokvani .