You are on page 1of 39

Running Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

Experience document
Gram Vaani Community Media

APRIL 2012

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

Table of Contents
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Introduction and objectives ......................................................................................... 3 Why a “campaign” mode? .......................................................................................... 3 Why community radio stations? ................................................................................. 4 Why an emphasis on the use of telephony and IVR systems? .................................... 4 Campaign process ....................................................................................................... 4 5.1. Design of the study .............................................................................................. 5 5.2. Results and feedback ........................................................................................... 6 5.3. Role of technology............................................................................................... 7 5.4. Challenges and learning ..................................................................................... 7 6. Recommendations ....................................................................................................... 8 7. Contact for additional information on community radio campaigns .......................... 9 Appendix A: Detailed report of campaigns at Community Radio Rudi No ..................... 10 PDS campaign at Community Radio Rudi No ............................................................. 10 Pre Campaign Survey ............................................................................................... 10 Comprehensive findings of the survey ...................................................................... 11 Programme planning and implementation ............................................................... 11 Stories from the campaign ........................................................................................ 12 Experience of Rudi-no Radio PDS campaign Fellow: Baluben Makwana .............. 13 RTE campaign at Community Radio Rudi No ............................................................. 15 Pre Campaign Survey ............................................................................................... 15 Comprehensive findings of Survey ............................................................................ 15 Potential Issues Reported by different stakeholders ................................................. 16 Programme planning and implementation ............................................................... 17 Stories from the campaign ........................................................................................ 19 Experience of Rudi-no Radio RTE campaign Fellow: Parul Rawat ........................ 20 Appendix B: Detailed experience report of campaigns at Radio Mattoli ......................... 21 PDS campaign ............................................................................................................... 21 Pre Campaign Survey ............................................................................................... 21 Comprehensive findings of Survey ............................................................................ 21 Programme planning and implementation ............................................................... 22 Stories from the campaign ........................................................................................ 23 NREGA campaign ........................................................................................................ 24 Pre Campaign Survey ............................................................................................... 24 Comprehensive findings of Survey ............................................................................ 25 Programme planning and implementation ............................................................... 25 Stories from the campaign ........................................................................................ 27 Appendix C: Detailed experience report of campaigns at Kumaon Vaani, Mukteshwar . 29 Kumaon Vaani NREGA Campaign .............................................................................. 29 Kumaon Vaani PDS Campaign .................................................................................... 30 Appendix D: Detailed experience report on campaigns at PARD Vanoli, Madurai ........ 33 Appendix E: Detailed experience report of campaigns at Anna Community Radio ........ 35 Campaign on Right to Education .................................................................................. 35 Major survey findings ................................................................................................... 35 Programme planning and implementation .................................................................... 36 About Gram Vaani Community Media............................................................................. 38
Page 2 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

1. Introduction and objectives
Government Schemes in rural areas face significant issues in their implementation. This includes poor awareness among citizens about their rights and entitlements, inadequate information and empowerment among people for grievance redressal, and lack of bottom-up feedback about the functioning of these schemes to help in their re-design and re-formulation. The Gram Vaani team felt that Community Radio Stations (CRS) possess significant potential to act as an interface between citizens and government, and help in bridging these gaps about information and follow-up. The community radio movement in India being relatively new, an additional need for training and mentoring these stations was also felt to build their capacity and help them create relevant communication processes. An experiment was therefore designed and processes were set up to do public information campaigns with five community radio stations in India. The campaigns aimed to: 1. Generate awareness around three flagship schemes of the central government: the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), the Public Distribution System (PDS) and the Right to Education (RTE). 2. Understand the prevailing knowledge levels of people living in rural communities 3. Identify gaps in the implementation of these schemes at the grassroots and produce a comprehensive report on implementation problems 4. Encourage the station staff to take up grievances cited by their communities to the concerned government officials for redressal 5. Develop a standard scalable model with CRS to run similar initiatives in the future 6. Identify various ways in which the use of telephony IVR systems and internet connectivity can help stations run these campaigns

2. Why a “campaign” mode?
The campaigns were done to understand the feasibility of distant co-ordination with multiple community radio stations within a short time-frame, and to check if this process is scalable. The idea behind the initiative was to reach out to as many people as possible within a given time frame.

Page 3 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

3. Why community radio stations?
• • • • • They have an extensive outreach to villages in which they operate They produce programmes in the local dialect of their area The volunteers of CRS have a sound understanding of the needs of the community Community members participate in programme production and discussions CRS ensures maximum outreach of information and knowledge with limited resources and time

4. Why an emphasis on the use of telephony and IVR systems?
Community engagement is what differentiates CRS from other broadcast mediums such as print, television, and national radio. We wanted to examine whether running interactive campaigns by engaging with the communities will be more successful in empowering and increasing awareness than simple broadcast of information.

5. Campaign process
Gram Vaani’s role is summarized in the figure below.


• Conceptualization of the campaign • Identification of stations • Coordination with the stations • Training and assistance of the station staff • Specific inputs for the campaign programmes


Page 4 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio


Design of the study

Initially six stations partnered with Gram Vaani to do the campaigns, but only five were able to complete the process successfully. These five stations were Kumaon Vaani (Uttarakhand), Community Rudi-no Radio (Gujarat), Radio Mattoli (Kerala), PARD Vaanoli (Madurai) and Anna Community Radio Station (Chennai). Out of these five stations, Kumaon Vaani and PARD Vaanoli, were using Gram Vaani’s GRINS software (GRINS is an automation software specially designed for community radio stations, with inbuilt support for IVR engagement). Each station did campaigns on at least one of the national flagship schemes selected. The first steps of the two member coordination team from Gram Vaani were to identify a fellow from each of the CR stations who would be responsible for the implementation of the campaigns from its conception to end. The fellows were paid a small stipend for each campaign they took responsibility. Following this, surveys were conducted in up to ten villages around each station regarding the functioning of these schemes and specific problems faced by different stakeholders on ground. These surveys included the conducting of interviews and focus group discussions with various stakeholders. The results of the surveys were analyzed to understand specific problems about the government scheme operations in the area. Suggestions about five-ten episodes of radio programmes were provided to the stations that they could develop for the campaigns. Within each programme, feedback and comments were solicited from different stakeholders, and debates and discussions were done. The four step execution strategy followed with each station has been shared in the following flow diagram:

Establish a rapport with CRS and identify a fellow

Fellow conducts a survey in their community

GV assists the fellow in programme production

Incorporate results and feedback from community

Each campaign with a station lasted approximately two months from identification of the fellow, to wrap-up with community feedback.

Page 5 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio


Results and feedback

Increased awareness of the community: After the campaign got completed, all the stations were flooded with feedback and comments from their respective community members. The feedback was diverse, ranging from problems in the delivery of different schemes, success stories, problems faced not just by the beneficiaries of the scheme but also by government officials to implement the schemes, and praise for the efforts of the station to make the community members aware about their entitlements under MNREGS, PDS and RTE. Detailed feedback at each station is mentioned in the Appendices. Increased citizen-government engagement: The fellows reported getting calls from a lot of their listeners both during and after the completion of the campaigns for consulting them with specific problems they have been facing with respect to the various schemes. A lot of such instances included the lack of knowledge about who would be the right person to approach so that they can directly resolve their issues. To give a specific example, a listener contacted the campaign fellow asking his advice on how to convert his APL card into BPL card when he has incorrectly been issued the APL card. The fellow supplied him with necessary knowledge and contact to be able to handle the process on his own. The listener then approached the government department eventually solving his problem. In this manner the radio stations truly acted as an interface between the communities and government. Increased empowerment: It was reported by all the participating CR stations, that the listeners that got so motivated after being informed about their rights and entitlements by hearing the radio programmes on MNREGA and PDS, that they went straight to the concerned authorities and demanded their dues. Case studies of different fellows also emphasized on the aspect that coordinating the CR campaigns also led them to find out the answers to the questions of the people and consequently resulted in increase of their own awareness and hence contributed in the empowerment of the members of the community.

Interactive community radio campaigns thus produced significant awareness and empowerment improvements that have typically not been noticed by simple broadcast of information about government schemes.

Page 6 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio


Role of technology

Two stations that had GRINS deployed were able to use it in the following ways: • To do live calling and conference calls for integrating the opinions, questions and responses of different stakeholders IVR systems helped the station to conduct survey and collect feedback even when they were not physically present to take calls

Other stations had to rely on collecting verbal feedback or conduct field recordings to get voices of the people. Relevant telephony technology thus improved community engagement, and increased the effectiveness of campaign-like interventions.


Challenges and learning

Following were some challenges faced by us in the course of doing campaigns. • Coordination challenges: These are challenges that both the Gram Vaani team and the CR stations faced in coordinating with each other.

Language barriers: It was difficult for the coordinators from the Gram Vaani team to communicate with the different station staff from the non-Hindi belt. This hampered the assistance and guidance to be provided to the station staff. Delay in response due to community situations: Due to local festivals and other events in different communities, the deadlines for the completion of campaigns often had to be stretched.


Infrastructural and eco-system challenges: These define additional challenges that affected the day-to-day running of the campaigns. o Absence of live call-in telephony software and IVR systems in some stations: Stations that did not have GRINS, especially Rudi-no radio, expressed this as one of their major limitation in reaching out to the communities more efficiently.
Page 7 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio


Infrastructural issues: Owing to the erratic electricity, telephone, and Internet connections in villages, the station staff found it hard to get guidance and assistance when needed. Eco-system involvement: Non-cooperation of certain government officials and stakeholders to be answerable to the questions of the public hampered the triangulation of viewpoints that the CRS wanted to communicate to the people. Time commitments: Limitation of time and resources on part of the community radio stations to work on the campaigns caused delays in completion of the campaigns. The Gram Vaani team observed that a few participating stations could have done a much better job had they been a little more committed to the initiative. This would have also led to the maximization of their resource base.



Learning regarding scalability: The campaign initiative was designed to evaluate the feasibility of its replication and scalability for similar future programmes. From the Gram Vaani end, all training and communication with the five station representatives was done by a two person team over the phone and through emails, validating the scalability of the approach. Experiences and learning from this exercise suggest that CRS can very well be involved in awareness-building or other forms of public information campaign due to their closeness to the communities. Especially, information about government schemes that are central to the processes of poverty eradication, sustainable livelihood, right to education, can be made accessible to remote corners of this vast country where access to other form of amenities like television or mobiles are yet to be realized. Furthermore, interactive campaigns that involve the community hold greater potential to educate and empower people than traditional methods of simple broadcast of information.

6. Recommendations
Gram Vaani would like to encourage the Indian CR community to consider a programme-based intervention to run campaigns across a network of CR stations on pressing issues such as livelihoods, climate change, policy discussions on the public distribution system, and other matters. CRS are a more effective means of information dissemination related to government schemes than mere publication in newspapers and

Page 8 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

broadcast on television, and should be considered actively by various ministries as a better outreach mechanism. It helps improve awareness of the communities, and also empower them to create citizen-government engagement processes to solve common problems in the implementation of different government schemes.

7. Contact for additional information on community radio campaigns
• • • Ms. Aparna Moitra: Ms. Sayonee Chatterjee: Ms. Vidya Venkat:

Page 9 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

Appendix A: Detailed report of campaigns at Community Radio Rudi No
Gram Vaani in association with Community Rudi-no Radio Station (Ahmedabad, Gujarat) organized community radio campaigns on the Public Distribution System (PDS) and Right to Education Act (RTE). For the purpose of coordinating the campaigns in the community, two fellows were selected from Rudi-no Radio Station. Baluben Makwana was selected for the campaign on PDS and Parulben Rawat was selected for the campaign on RTE.

PDS campaign at Community Radio Rudi No The Public Distribution System (PDS) is responsible for distribution of essential commodities to a large number of people through a network of FPS (Fair Price Shops) on a recurring basis. The commodities include Wheat, Rice, Sugar and Kerosene. PDS evolved as a major instrument of the Government’s economic policy for ensuring availability of food grains to the public at affordable prices as well as for enhancing the food security for the poor. It is an important constituent of the strategy for poverty eradication and is intended to serve as a safety net for the poor whose number is more than 330 million and are nutritionally at risk. PDS with a network of about 4.99 Lakh Fair Price Shops (FPS) is perhaps the largest distribution network of its type in the world. PDS is operated under the joint responsibility of the Central and the State Governments. The Central Government has taken the responsibility for procurement, storage, transportation and bulk allocation of food grains, etc. The responsibility for distributing the same to the consumers through the network of FPSs rests with the State Governments. The operational responsibilities including allocation within the State, identification of families below poverty line, issue of ration cards, supervision and monitoring the functioning of FPSs rest with the state Governments. (

Pre Campaign Survey A purposive sampling of the key stakeholders was done to conduct Focus Group Discussion (FGD) at Nani Devti village, Jivanpura village, Manipur village, and Vasodara village, Sanand Taluka, Ahmedabad District. In these 4 villages total 50 people were surveyed of which 46 card holders and 4 shop keepers were surveyed. 12 card holders and one shop keeper from Nani Devti; 11 card holders and one shop keeper from Jivanpura; 12 card holders and one shop keeper from Manipur; and 11 card holders and one shop keeper from Vasodara were surveyed. The survey was done to understand the awareness levels
Page 10 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

of people in the villages regarding their entitlements under PDS and the other issues they face under this scheme.

Comprehensive findings of the survey • Almost all card holders complained about receiving less quantity of ration (than what they are legally entitled to) and poor quality of flour, so much so that they had to utilize it for feeding cattle. Apart from these, other complaints ranged from the ration shop being away from village, to the improper timings of opening, lack of stock of ration that the people have to often come back more than once and sometimes finishing off the entire ration within first 15 days of the month and closing it for the next 15 days of the month. The ration shop owners complained of less commission and the absence of a helper that leads them to manage their livelihoods by working additionally as farmers etc. For the quality and quantity of ration they held the supplies division and government accountable.

Programme planning and implementation Based on the survey, the Rudi-no Radio team and Gram Vaani mutually discussed the way forward by initially using promos as a means to publicize the campaigns and engage the listeners and then making radio programmes on the different aspects of this issue. Hence, in total seven programmes were made. The first two programmes were promos, talking about what PDS is and asking people what they understand of it. The fellow also reinforced the basic entitlements under PDS. For programmes 3, 4 and 5, interviews with the beneficiaries of PDS were done and the issues they face were discussed. From the survey and the previous programmes it was noticed that the beneficiaries of PDS were not fully aware about their entitlements and the recent changes in their entitlements, hence an awareness entitlements programme was made wherein the beneficiaries were told about PDS, the procedure of making ration cards, the types of cards - APL1, APL2, BPL, Antyodaya and Annapurna and their eligibility for the same and the quantities of ration and the different colour cards required for it were discussed. The seventh programme was a questions and answer session about PDS with the National Advisory Council member Ms. Mirai Chatterjee. The various questions to be asked to Ms. Chatterjee were collected by the fellow by visiting different villages and

Page 11 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

talking to different stakeholders and recording their sound bites for the purpose of this programme. The questions from the beneficiaries ranged from the entitlements to the quality of grains to the food security bill. A question put up by the ration shop dealer regarding less commission was also addressed by Ms. Chatterjee in a very transparent and accountable manner. All these programmes including the promos were broadcasted for a total of 72 times, starting from 10th of August to 6th of December 2011. The timings of the repeat broadcasts were so adjusted that all the people listening to radio during different times of day are able to hear the programme. For those who continuously listen to radio programmes, the repeated episodes acted as reinforcement regarding their entitlements.

Stories from the campaign • Amratben Solanki, Iyava village shared, “… we have a Mandal (Group) of making Khakhras. We are confident that we can also operate the Public Distribution Shop efficiently...” Mahendrabhai Thanak from Thana district, Gujarat-Maharashtra border, posed a query saying, “… I heard the programme on Public Distribution System on AIR… I am blind and I lived with my mother till she died. I live with my uncles now and I am 60 years of age… I have APL card but as I am blind, I am dependent on others… If I am eligible for BPL card, I can get more ration...”. Baluben Makwana provided all the necessary information to Mahendrabhai Thanak and encouraged to seek for any further information required. “… During the PDS programme it was informed that the ration card can be separated within 15 days but in my village I was informed that I cannot get a separate card…” shared Dilipbhai Chauhan, Gangad village. Baluben provided him the information that he can give a written application at the Mamlatdar kacheri (Taluka office). And he should keep a copy of the application along with date, sign and stamp. If there is a delay then he can also write to District Mamlatdar Office, Department of Food and Public Distribution.

Page 12 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

Rameshbhai Chauhan, Panchmahal district heard the programme on PDS. He shared that Rudi-no radio provided information on APL and BPL cards but not on Antyodaya card. To appreciate their work, he purchased the booklets carrying information on ration cards and couriered them for their reference. Maniben, Jivanpura shared, “… the benefit of ration card can only be availed if the quality of ration is good…” “… I heard the programme on the difference between APL / BPL card during which I learned what we are entitled to. But although our condition is not good we have APL card and we don’t receive any ration. After listening to the information provided by you during the programme now I will visit Mamlatdar Office…” shared Bharatiben, Rancharada village. Some senior citizens didn’t know about their entitlements and after listening to the PDS programmes were encouraged to question Mamlatdar Office. Champaben Kalabhai, Unali village, Ahmedabad district shared, “… I am a BPL card holder and I receive Rice, Wheat and Sugar. I am a widow and there is no one to look after me. I earn my living. Only on the days I earn, I can eat. It is not possible to survive on just grains, what about the vegetables and other essentials… If widows like me can receive some more benefits, it would help us live with dignity…” Ishwarbhai Patel from Lodhanor village, Banaskantha district shared his feedback saying, “… Through the programme on PDS, I became aware about the information on Above Poverty Line, Below Poverty Line, and Ration Shops and their functioning. The programme on PDS was very informative…” Veenubhai Mer, Bhavnagar district had to say, “… I listened to the Programme on Public Distribution System and liked it a lot…”

According to Baluben, even after months of finishing the PDS programme, she gets calls from the listeners presenting their issues/problems in front of her, asking for her suggestions. She plans to do more programmes to address the common issues. Experience of Rudi-no Radio PDS campaign Fellow: Baluben Makwana According to Baluben, the Gram Vaani fellowship on Public Distribution System was a very knowledgeable and enriching experience. Though she was aware about the Public

Page 13 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

Distribution System, she came to know about the details of cards, APL/BPL Ration details, issuing of cards, Food Security Bill and much more during this fellowship. While selecting the subject of fellowship, she selected Public Distribution System, though she had experience of making a radio programme on NREGA. She took up the challenge to work on a new and different subject. During the survey, she learned that families had BPL cards but didn’t receive their entitlements. Whereas, the ration shop owners complained about low commission and difficulty in sustaining the shop. She came across a lot of grievances during the survey. Before making the first programme she received lot of guidance from Gram Vaani and Namrata Bali, Managing Director, Indian Academy for Self Employed Women. The first draft of the script written by her was very serious and she felt that the audience will not be able to accept the harsh realities in form of Radio programme. So after much discussion, she decided to write a satirical script. The script was developed after a group discussion on the subject. The first promo on PDS i.e. the first programme received huge response from the community and it was a big success. During the making of series of programmes she received continuous guidance from Gram Vaani team and Indian Academy for Self Employed Women. She appreciates Shri Mirai Chatterjee for her time and detailed information shared by her. The Interviewees were kind to spare time for the recording and sharing their personal details for the programme. Her involvement grew in the process of making the programme on PDS and the success of PDS campaign motivated her to initiate the broadcast of the programmes developed on PDS through All India Radio (AIR). With so many stories and impact, she broadcasted the programme through All India Radio to widen their outreach. She has also initiated narrowcasting of the programme in urban slums of Ahmedabad. The dates of broadcast and details of the programme, through All India Radio have been mentioned below: • • • • • 24 September 2011: Programme 1 8 October 2011: Interviews 15 October 2011: APL-BPL Card details, Information on Right to Food Bill 19 November 2011: Ration Card Details 3 December 2011: Question-Answer

Although, through the PDS programme she provided information beyond the scope of PDS by talking about Food Security Bill and National Advisory Council, but her aim always was to provide the information in a very easy and understandable way for mass appeal. Through the series of PDS programme she tried to cover a range of issues related to the topic such as the quantity and rates applicable once the new Bill will be

Page 14 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

introduced, sensitive topics like black marketing and difficulties in operating ration shops in simple way. This fellowship gave a new dimension to her way of thinking while making and broadcasting radio programmes.

RTE campaign at Community Radio Rudi No The Right to Education Act refers to the right of the children of the age group of 6-14 years to get free and compulsory education near their place of residence. The classes covered in this age group range from class I to class VIII.

Pre Campaign Survey Initially, a survey was undertaken in four villages around the radio station, to gauge the awareness levels of different stakeholders in regard of RTE act. Based on the purposive sampling of the key stakeholders and their availability that time, Focus Group Discussion (FGD) were conducted at Nidhrad village, Palodiya village, Khicha village, and Manipur village, Sanand Taluka, Ahmedabad District. 55 people from these four villages total were surveyed, of which one Sarpanch, four Principals, eight Teachers, 26 Students and 16 Parents were surveyed. Of these 55 respondents, 15 were from Nidhrad village, 14 were from Palodiya village, 13 were from Khicha village and 13 were from Manipur village.

Comprehensive findings of Survey • Principals across all the villages surveyed had some information about the Right to Education (RTE) act but they had to very often refer back to the booklets providing information about the act. They initially received the information about this act through newspapers and Cluster Research Center meeting. Six out of eight teachers knew about the RTE act, but the others were simply ignorant about it and often used corporal ways to punish the children for their mistakes. Some of them contacted the principal in this regard and others referred to the information booklet kept in the principal’s office. 21 of 26 students claimed to know about the act but when asked to explain what it means, most of them responded by saying that it means to study and acquire good job. The rest of the five students hadn’t heard about the act at all. The students said they would ask their teachers for more information regarding RTE act.

Page 15 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

So far as the parents were concerned, 13 out of 16 claimed to know about the act but when asked its meaning, for them also it meant to provide their children with education so that they can get good jobs. The parents also said that they would get back to the teachers for more information regarding RTE act. The Sarpanch of one village was the President of their School Management Committee (SMC) where they discuss about RTE Act. But the sarpanch wasn’t aware of the RTE act being in place. When the headmasters were asked about the steps being undertaken in the community to promote awareness about RTE act, they replied that, in Nidhrad village, they conducted survey in the village, in Palodiya village, they conducted meeting and then visited around the village to spread word about Free and Compulsory Education, in Khicha village they spread word about ‘Vanche Gujarat’ and in Manipur village, they conducted parents-teacher meeting to inform about the RTE act. Out of 55 respondents, 13 recommended Radio, 18 recommended Newspaper, 14 recommended Pamphlets, and 8 recommended Anganwadi activities, 1 recommended Rally, and 1 recommended Television for promoting awareness about RTE act. A majority of stakeholders felt that after implementing RTE act, the education system will improve.

Potential Issues Reported by different stakeholders • Parents and children complained that teachers make children do cleaning/sweeping work at school and some teachers also make children do their personal work. They also complained of water-logging in the school premises. Parents and children complained about corporal punishment being used in the school. In their response they also put forth that the teachers roam around in school and most of the times due to less attendance in class don’t teach the other students present in class, hence their education suffers. The parents specifically complained that the teachers are so incompetent that the students also don’t know to spell their own names.

Page 16 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

The parents feel that getting admission of their children in private school is a challenge. In cases where the birth certificate of child is not available it creates a lot of issues at the time of admission. The principal on the other hand was of the opinion that the parents like their children to study in private schools. According to the teachers, the children are not interested in studies; they expressed concerns about the impact of constant migration on the education of children belonging to the migrating communities; girl child dropout after standard IV for looking after younger children at home as parents work at farms, causing absenteeism of the child and affecting their studies. Teachers complained that the method of teaching has become out-dated and new methods must be introduced to make learning more interesting for the students. They also felt that they shouldn’t be made to facilitate elections etc. that is not a part of their work, as the students’ education suffers.

Programme planning and implementation After analyzing the findings of the survey, the Gram Vaani team along with the Rudi-no Radio team planned the radio programmes. A total of three programmes were made. Upon analyzing the results, it was found that there was an immense need for an entitlements awareness programme for RTE act. Therefore, a very entertaining radio drama was scripted that cut across various segments of contexts in the villages highlighting the various reasons as to why the children don’t go to school to study and at the same time informing about the provisions under RTE act that makes seeking education for children from 6-14 years of age, i.e. class I to VIII near their place of residence as a right.

Page 17 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

Initially the second programme for the RTE campaign was envisaged as a platform for dialoguing the perspectives of the different key stakeholders about RTE provisions and its implementation. As it was supposed to be an impromptu discussion, when the group discussion was actually being recorded as a proper radio programme, there were a lot of technical difficulties and it created a lot of confusion, even after two-three attempts recording, the programme wasn’t very clear. Also, the availability of the key stakeholders at one particular time made it really difficult to record. Reflecting on it, it was realized that for broadcasting purposes, radio as a mode of auditory communication wasn’t well suited for such a group discussion. But it was then subsequently decided that such discussions can be carried out in the narrowcasting sessions and hence narrowcasting of these programmes has been started. Currently Rudi-no radio has narrowcasted RTE programmes in Primary School Manipur village, small group in Unali village and Chekhla village and also at Gita Mandir area of Ahmedabad. What was done next was a scripted structuring of the programme that was then recorded in the studio. The second programme primarily carried the views of parents in the radio drama format. It was a persuasive kind of a programme wherein information was provided to the parents who were not aware of the importance of education and henceforth, the provisions of RTE act. A couple of interviews with co-ordinators of Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya were also included in the programme to provide a holistic viewpoint on the issue. For the third programme, the Rudi-no Radio staff proposed songs for children, sung by children signifying the importance of education.

Page 18 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

These three programmes were broadcasted under the children’s segment “Killol...” All these programmes were broadcasted for a total number of 32 times starting from 27th December 2011 to 1st February 2012.

Stories from the campaign After hearing the radio programmes a lot of people from different segments of society provided their feedback. In this document, one impact from each stakeholder has been shared. • Hetalben Dineshbhai Chauhan, Standard 7, Manipur Primary School, Manipur village shared, “… I heard the programme on RTE and from the programme I learned that all the children from 6-14 years have right to education…” Urvashiben, Teacher, Manipur village had to say, “… I was not aware that all children from 6-14 years have right to free and compulsory education but listening to this programme generated awareness in teachers and students alike about RTE. I thank Community Rudi-no Radio for creating this awareness programme...”

Arunaben Dineshbhai Waghela, Unali village said, “…I have 2 daughters and 1 son. My son is studying in standard 9, and daughters are studying in standard 6 and standard 5. Right to Education is relevant to every child and all children should be educated. I engage in domestic work to support and contribute in my children’s education. All parents should educate their children. For the progress of society each and every child should have access to education. Especially subjects like Computers and English should be compulsory but Gujarati language should also be taught. I

Page 19 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

aspire to educate my daughters for Primary Teachers Certificate (PTC) and my son for Police…” Experience of Rudi-no Radio RTE campaign Fellow: Parul Rawat Working for the Gram Vaani fellowship on Right to Education Act was a unique and inspiring experience for Parul Rawat. During her field visits (for surveys), she learnt that not only children and parents but also teachers and principals were not aware about the Right to Education Act. Some Primary Schools in Gujarat already have education from standard 1 to 7, so education till standard 8 as per the Act was new information for those who were not aware about the Act. Before making the programmes, she initiated lot of discussion and research on Right to Education Act as the subject was new for her and to elaborate on all aspects of RTE beyond the one line that RTE means Right to Free and Compulsory Education was bit difficult for her. Later during discussions with her colleagues, they mutually learned about many aspects of Education. She became aware about the quality of education; the situation of village children in school i.e. they are made to do personal work of teachers; differentiation on the basis of caste and religion for admission in schools was thought provoking; the question still looms ‘what can be done to remove this injustice’. Writing script for this subject was unique experience for her. Initially, when she started the process of making a radio programme on Right to Education, she was very confused as to how to provide necessary information on RTE in easy to understand language for common mass. Also, involving children was bit difficult as they too were unaware about RTE and she had to change the initial plan of impromptu recording and had to write a focused script for better understanding of listeners. In fact she had to re-record the first programme as the first recording didn’t turn out to be satisfactory, delaying her from the scheduled plan and dates. While recording the RTE programmes with children, she noted and emphasized on likes and dislikes of children. During recording, the atmosphere was full of fun and ‘learning with fun’. She has just finished broadcasting the RTE programmes from Community Rudi-no Radio Station Manipur and from the feedback received she learnt that not many people are aware about the RTE Act and this inspired her to broadcast the RTE programme on wider scale for wider outreach. She is in the process of making necessary changes in the RTE programme to fit in the All India Radio format to reach wider audience. Apart from AIR she has already initiated narrowcasting of RTE programme in urban slums of Ahmedabad, within listener’s groups and other villages of Gujarat.

Page 20 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

Appendix B: Detailed experience report of campaigns at Radio Mattoli
Gram Vaani in association with Community Radio Mattoli (Wayanad, Kerala) organized community radio campaigns on Public Distribution System (PDS) and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS). For the purpose of coordinating the campaigns in the community, two fellows were selected from Community Radio Mattoli Station. Joseph P.A. was selected for the campaign on PDS and V. Sivaprasad was selected for the campaign on MNREGS.

PDS campaign The Public Distribution system (PDS) is responsible for distribution of essential commodities to a large number of people at an affordable price through a network of FPS on a recurring basis. The commodities include wheat, rice, sugar and kerosene.

Pre Campaign Survey A survey was conducted in the Wayanad district of Kerala to find out about the functioning of PDS in the area from the various stakeholders of the scheme. For this purpose, 50 households from four were surveyed. In addition to this the ration dealers operating in this area were also surveyed so as to get a balanced view of the situation regarding PDS.

Comprehensive findings of Survey • The people reported that during the last three months they did not get the entire quota and the variety of cereals that they were supposed to receive. Several people had no awareness about the various special offers given by the government from time to time. By the time they get to know about these schemes and reach the ration dealer, the dealers tell them that they are too late. There was a strong feeling among the beneficiaries that during these times of high price, things of daily needs should be distributed through the fair price shops and the prices of these commodities should be reduced so that the poor people can afford to buy them. There were lots of complaints about the APL/BPL classification, and how due to the unreasonable classification either due to error on behalf of the officers or due to

Page 21 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

wrong information furnished because of ignorance of people, justice was denied to the needy. • During the survey it was brought to notice that even tribals were included in the APL list where as they should have been in the BPL list. A major problem faced both by the people and the fair price shop owners is the nonallotment of commodities in proper time. Due to this, people have to go to the fair price shops more than once, and this poses not only an inconvenience to the people but also an avoidable financial burden. Non supply of commodities from the depot creates problems for the fair price shopkeepers as they are the ones who are in constant touch with the people and will have to deal with them. It is very important that ration shops should remain open from morning till evening. There was also a felt need that the quantity of kerosene should be restored. Another problem faced by the fair price shop keeper was the fact that the commission he received was not sufficient for his sustenance, and hence instead of commission a salary should be paid. Another problem faced by the shop keeper was that he did not receive the entire quantity of commodities due to cited reasons including leakage and shortage, etc. There was also a general complaint that the quality of commodities supplied by the depot was not always up to the mark.

• • •

Programme planning and implementation Based on the survey, the Radio Mattoli team and Gram Vaani mutually discussed the way forward for the programmes by initially using introductory programmes ‘promos’ as a means to publicize the campaigns and engage the listeners and then making radio programmes on the different aspects of this issue. Hence, in total 7 episodes were made on this issue. These programmes were made under the name Pothu vitarnam pothu jananglil (public distribution among people) and promoted under the banner of Janasabdam that means voice of the people. The station staff wanted to create more episodes on the issue of PDS, but they were disappointed on by the response of the district officials as they didn’t want to respond

Page 22 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

to the questions of the listeners. These episodes were broadcasted from 28th November 2011 to 5th December 2011 once and the repeat broadcast happened the subsequent evening. The first programme was a promo, talking about what PDS is and the entitlements of people under this scheme and how it has helped families in Wayanad. In the promo an overview of the survey undertaken was also discussed pointing out the quality of food items, drawbacks in the APL –BPL categorization, price and distribution of ration items, customer care at the ration shops and problems of the customers. Initially for the first two episodes, people’s opinion about the APL-BPL categorization problem, quality and quantity of grains etc. was undertaken. A few cases were also highlighted that faced similar issues such as unavailability of stocks, poor quality ration etc. If was found that most of the times people don’t have the information about the new schemes under PDS. The third episode primarily discussed the kind of problems faced by the people when they go to the ration shop. These were inclusive of the shop being far away, poor quality of ration, lack of stocks- to have to go to the shops more than once in a month etc. People suggested the ration shop owner to display the stocks and prices for APL and BPL families separately. Certain listeners also wanted fruits and vegetables to be routed via PDS. In the fourth episode the implementation of Antyodaya Annapurna scheme in Wayanad was discussed. Episodes 5 and 6 were dedicated to the Ration shopkeeper’s side of the story. Using the radio programmes as a platform they discussed the sets of issues that they face such as meager commission, need for a helper etc. Since none of the district officials agreed to come to answer the problems of both the beneficiaries and the shopkeepers, the final episode presented a winding up of the campaign with few suggestions that balanced the viewpoints of all the stakeholders involved in the process.

Stories from the campaign Included below are a few responses of listeners who called up the radio station: - “… The ration shops were known as fair price shops earlier; today the kind of card a customer holds commands entitlements…”

Page 23 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

- “… The rich continue to buy away the two rupees rice while the poorest of the poor suffer. The items other than rice are brought to the shop towards the end of the week; the customers get to know about it only the next week by when the stocks would be over...” - “… There were cement granules in rice and hence the quality of the items was poor…”

- “… When one caller approached the Panchayat for BPL status, she was returned saying that no new survey for a recategorisation was underway…”

NREGA campaign The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act aims at enhancing the livelihood security of people in rural areas by guaranteeing hundred days of wageemployment in a financial year to a rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work. Pre Campaign Survey A survey was conducted in the Edavaka Gram Panchayat of Mananthavady Block, Wayanad district of Kerala to find out the issues related to MNREGA that the people in that area were facing. A total of 50 households from four villages were surveyed.

Page 24 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

Comprehensive findings of Survey • • Out of the 50 households, 30 households were aware about NREGA. All those who applied for job card, received the same without any difficulties. The wages were disbursed within a month after the completion of the work. But some people did not get any receipt when they submitted the application for work. No complaints were received about the application procedure or information on the job cards. There is no doubt that NREGA helped the rural people, especially the women to lead a healthy and financially sound life. It helped them to improve their confidence and create harmony among the people. The employment guarantee programme helped to reduce poverty to a large extend. Most of the tribal people were not aware of NREGA or the application procedures. Hence, they did not get the benefit of the scheme. And those who knew about the scheme were not very much interested due to the low wages given. Out of the 50 households, 30 of them were satisfied with the work environment. 20 people were not aware of the work site facilities. 28 people complained about the lack of first aid facilities at the work site. There were no complaints about the payment of wages. It is true that in the initial stages some people did not get their wages within one month. It took almost 45 to 60 days which was rather a long wait for the wages. No complaints were reported against any discrimination. The people suggested that NREGA should be extended to the paddy cultivation and dairy development sector. It should also be extended to the production sector. People further felt that work should be decided on the basis of climatic conditions and must be need oriented

• •

• •

• •

Programme planning and implementation Based on the survey, the Radio Mattoli team and Gram Vaani mutually discussed the way forward by initially using introductory programmes ‘promos’ as a means to publicize the campaigns and engage the listeners and then making radio programmes on
Page 25 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

the different aspects of this issue. Hence, in total 11 episodes were made on this issue. These programmes were made and promoted under the banner of Janasabdam that means voice of the people. Initially fewer episodes of MNREGS were made but on popular demand from the people, more episodes were created. These episodes were broadcasted once a day starting from 6th December 2011 to 16th December 2011 and the repeat broadcasts happened the subsequent evening. The first programme was a promo, talking about what MNREGS is and the entitlements of people under this scheme. An overview of how this scheme has helped the people in the village over time was also discussed in the promo. The next five episodes include people’s opinion about the scheme and their suggestions and queries about how it should be. Episode 1: Entitlements and common problems of labors discussed Episode 2: Awareness levels of tribals regarding the scheme and opinions of common people regarding worksite facilities (such as availability of crèche facility etc.) were discussed. Episode 3: Equal wages for men and women under this scheme was propagated through this episode. Wage related problems were discussed. Episode 4: Information about work allotment was discussed. Women and senior citizens were of the opinion that the nature of work to be carried out is too heavy and they should be given some lenience. The provision of health insurance and the problems related to its access were discussed by the people. Episode 5: Work flow from seeking work to the entry in the computers of Panchayat was discussed to promote awareness about the procedures once people have applied for jobs. Problems related to delayed wage disbursals were discussed. People asked for the minimum wages to be increased. People talked about including agriculture under the purview of this scheme as it would then allow them to work on their farms. Series of 6-part interview with expert Episode 6: In the first part, the expert who is the former district coordinator of the NREGS and current project director at the Poverty Alleviation Section reinforced the basic procedural entitlements of people under MNREGS. Episode 7: In the second part of his interview, the expert highlighted that the objective of having such a scheme as MNREGS is to provide employment to the people in the lean months of the year when there is no agricultural work to be done. But in the case of Wayanad when agriculture is practiced round the year, it complicates the process. Hence not all the people who initially registered themselves for the scheme turn up.

Page 26 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

Episode 8: In the third part of the interview the expert spoke about the minimum period of getting wages to be within two weeks and advised the listeners to go to the Gram Sabha in case of any discrepancy or complaints. Episode 9: In the fourth part of his interview, the expert highlighted that the work under the scheme are not heavy, they are given looking at the ease with which women and senior citizens would be able to do it. If it is indeed heavy, then also it can be easily completed using joint effort. Episode 10: For the fifth part of interview, the expert spoke about the increase in minimum wages saying that the wages have already been increased and there are no plans of further increasing these. He also spoke of including dairy sector under the scheme and improving the process of social audits. Episode 11: For the last part of his interview the expert clarified that there are no APLBPL based restrictions for applying to this scheme. He also highlighted some of the good things that the scheme has been able to achieve. The second part of the campaign process, comprising of episodes 6-11 gave answers to the queries, opinions and misconceptions of the people who gave their opinions for the first few episodes. The expert interview provided the listeners with a fair idea of the real situation and what they should be expecting and whom they should go to in case of filing complaints or seeking more information.

Stories from the campaign • Sessions of interactions with workers and the radio broadcast took place under the campaign helped to increase the level of awareness of the workers. So impressed were they with the episodes under the campaign that they demanded more such episodes to be made.

People now feel that the work is their right and they deserve to be treated fairly.

Page 27 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

This has served as a catalyst in the discussions held in the Kudumbasree (women oriented, community based, State Poverty Eradication Mission of Government of Kerala) units and other informal social gatherings. This new knowledge propelled them to demand for higher wages and better facilities. This campaign has aided in the process of empowerment of ordinary unskilled workers.

Page 28 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

Appendix C: Detailed experience report of campaigns at Kumaon Vaani, Mukteshwar Kumaon Vaani community radio station is based in Supi, near Mukteshwar, in Nainital district of Uttrakhand. The station is operated by the staff and volunteers from The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), and focuses primarily on the agricultural community in the area. Set up in March 2010 the station is meant to create a cultural space for the residents of Kumaon and also create awareness on issues of environment and development, areas in which TERI works. The listener base of Kumaon Vaani ranges between 1 lakh to 1.5 lakh, and is mostly constituted by the residents of surrounding 1520 villages. The station is among the few that have managed to raise advertising revenue from the government for doing programs on its flagship schemes like NREGS. Kumaon Vaani participated in two awareness-raising campaigns on MNREGA and PDS, in partnership with Gram Vaani. Kumaon Vaani NREGA Campaign The public information campaign on the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) was started by Kumaon Vaani in Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand, on March 1, 2011. In the course of the campaign, the radio station elicited opinions, suggestions and reports from citizens living in the villages to which the radio station caters. The response to the campaign was encouraging and villagers highlighted the numerous glitches in the implementation of the flagship government scheme in Nainital district of Uttarakhand. Some of the major findings of the campaign were: • • • • • • Lack of awareness among the villagers regarding various provisions under the scheme Lack of transparency and accountability on the part of the officials involved in the implementation stage of the scheme Lack of transparency in filling up the form leading to discrepancies in data Problems with issuing job cards to the villagers Accessing their own job cards by the beneficiaries to claim due payments Problems and delays with receiving full wages on the part of the beneficiaries, even after completion of the allotted work

Page 29 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

The following responses from residents of the surrounding villages further clarify the above mentioned points: • Bahadur from Gehna village mentioned that the gram panchayat did not allow NREGA job applicants to enter the date in the application form, which made it difficult for them to claim unemployment dole. Jitendra from Darima village complained that no job cards were issued in their village and that no project work had been sanctioned under MNREGA in their village, though the Scheme was extended to all rural panchayats across India in April, 2008. The villager sounded rather unsure if this was because of laxity on part of the gram pradhan or due to ignorance regarding the scheme on their part. Either way, the report showed that very little has been done to improve awareness regarding the scheme by the local government authorities. Another villager from Nainital district, Manju Devi said that she had worked under the NREGA on a tank project for 18 days but was paid only Rs. 1200. This was lesser than the stipulated amount. She further added that her demand for full payment was not heeded. Prakash Chandra, who had worked under NREGA for a month got wages for only 18 days. He said that Rs. 600 was deposited in his account though he is eligible for higher wages and that his job card was deposited at the office of the gram pradhan and he had not been given a copy of it! Hemant Devi from Sunderkhal had similar complaints. She had worked under NREGA for 20 days for which she was paid only Rs. 1000 and that too after much delay. She said that the gram pradhan keeps urging the women to work, ‘but how can we continue working without getting paid on time’.

Kumaon Vaani PDS Campaign Kumaon Vaani conducted the PDS related awareness campaign through the months of July, August and September 2011, in 30 surrounding villages. The whole campaign was run and aired in the local language of Kumaon. In the initial phase of the campaign, reporters from the station went to the surrounding villages to interview and interact with the inhabitants and Gram-Pradhans, with a view to understand the extent of awareness and understanding the villagers have about the

Page 30 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

scheme. Problems in implementation of the scheme and glitches also got highlighted during this phase. Since the initiative was designed for a fixed time-frame, it was important to focus on those areas of the scheme, about which the local people were either ignorant or where they faced difficulties in claiming their rights and entitlements. With an aim to attain a holistic picture the reporters interviewed beneficiaries, shop owners, social activist, BDOs, DSOs, food inspectors, people from supply centre or godowns and lawyers. The reporters of KV also visited 10 PDS catering to the population of the nearby villages, to interact with the dealers and shop owners. Information about the ongoing campaign on PDS was provided to these stakeholders, so that they can listen to the future programmes and participate with their comments and experiences. The exercise revealed huge gaps in implementation of the scheme at ground level. It also highlighted the confusion that exists regarding rights and entitlements among the beneficiaries. There was a great deal of confusion about APL, BPL, and their respective entitlements. Apart from these, it also pointed towards the prevailing ignorance among the villagers about various provisions in the scheme, like displaying prices of food grains on a board outside the shop. Apart from spelling out both lack in awareness and political-will, in implementing the scheme, the interactions brought out certain practical problems faced by the villagers as well as the shop owners, related to their respective contexts. Following were some of the major problems highlighted by the beneficiaries and the shop owners: • • • • • • • • Distance of Fair Price Shops Lack of information provided by the shop owners on day and time of opening the shops Lack of awareness among the beneficiaries about their entitlement Lack of consistency in the quality of the food grains Lack of awareness among the villagers about the fixed rates of items distributed Variation in the rates of the items in surrounding villages Lack of timely supply of the items (FPS owner) The FPS owner complained about not receiving the entire entitled amount owing to leakage or shortage

Following this phase of collecting views and information from the beneficiaries, Kumaon Vani structured programmes based on these interactions. They aired the interviews and experiences shared by the villagers, beneficiaries and PDS owners. The idea was to reach out to their entire listener base, so that they can come out with their experiences regarding PDS. During this phase, KV received calls from their listeners, sharing their experiences and problems regarding the scheme.

Page 31 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

The next step by KV was towards putting an effort in solving some of the problems highlighted by the listeners. In this phase the reporters went to meet the district level officials related to the scheme in an attempt to find answers to the questions and difficulties put forward by the beneficiaries as well as the FPS owners. Officials like District Supply Officer, BDO and Supply Inspectors were interviewed. It is important to mention that not all of them entertained the attempt. However, KV managed to convince two officials to accept their invitation and be a part of the campaign. The DSO from the two districts of Nainital and Almora provided information related to rights and entitlements of the beneficiaries, APL and BPL cards through the programmes aired by KV. Their interviews on the existing ground level difficulties were aired to foster an understanding about the provisions under the scheme, as well as to provide the real picture to the listeners. The programmes for this campaign were designed in a fashion to provide maximum information about PDS to the beneficiaries. For the initial one week, KV aired advertisements to let the listeners know about the campaign. The reporters who went to the field for interviews of the villagers also made them aware about the campaign. The campaign was started by broadcasting an information-based episode stating the basic provisions and entitlements under PDS. This was followed by airing the interviews of both the beneficiaries and the FPS owners about their own experiences of the scheme. Several calls and messages were received by KV during this phase. Most of them were from the villagers, who wanted information about the scheme. Interviews of the DSOs were aired after this, to answer questions arising out of lack of information and awareness. Reporters of KV revisited the villages to receive feedback from the villagers on whether the programmes on PDS proved to be of any help to them. Neela Kumari, an antyodaya card holder from Mukteshwar, mentioned that the programmes aired by KV on PDS helped her and her family to develop clarity about the prices of items supplied by the FPS. She mentioned, following this they can cross-check and question the shop owner in case of any discrepancies in the prices charged by him. Naveen Chandra, of Sandhena village, expressed that the programmes have helped him in a great way by providing information about the provisions and entitlements. He said they helped in resolving many confusions and false-notion he previously had about PDS. He also mentioned that the supply of item from their village FPS has become more regularized than before. However, he also reminded that the positive effects created by such a campaign will only continue if both the beneficiaries and the dealers understand their responsibility towards the scheme.

Page 32 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

Appendix D: Detailed experience report on campaigns at PARD Vanoli, Madurai The PARD Vaanoli community radio station in Madurai district started the public information campaign on MNREGA on February 7, 2011. The station sent out its community reporters to various villages in four blocks - Thirumangalam, Kallikudi, T.Kallupatti and Peraiyur – interviewing ordinary villagers, NREGA workers and members of the gram panchayat regarding the implementation of NREGA. Their testimonies show that the feedback on the implementation of the scheme is mixed. • Agriculture suffers labour shortage: R. Vivekanandham, a representative from Pappanayackenpatti panchayat, T.Kallupatty, said that the implementation of NREGA resulted in reduced supply of labour for agricultural work. He suggested that people involved in farm labour should be supported under NREGA instead, to avoid this situation. He also complained that a lot of people enrolled in NREGA work but did not turn up at the work site when called and instead took up other odd jobs. “Many people enrolled in NREGA got hold of job cards just like they get hold of other government documents to make use of it when they want,” he complained. He also added that many canal-dredging projects were currently incomplete under NREGA due to non-cooperation from labourers in finishing the project. Water bodies restored: P. Alagarsamy from T.Pudupatty had some positive stories to report with regards to restoration of water bodies in his village. He said that three big water ponds were dredged and the water quality restored to consumptions levels as a result of work undertaken under the NREGA scheme. He also added that the job scheme helped people to stave off shortage of money in times of inflation. He added that due to restoration of water bodies, farmers rearing cattle were benefitting as animals have clean drinking water now. Veluchamy, panchayat president from Puliyampatti, said water restoration work was being taken up in a big way under the scheme. Road-laying works were also being taken up. Till end of 2010, five projects were taken up under the scheme, and a total of Rs. 50 lakh spent. Jobs under the scheme reduced dependence on money lenders in the village. No complaints were received regarding scheme implementation, he said. • Problems of monitoring work: Veluchamy said that because at any given time up to 300 workers turn up at the NREGA work site, it is becomes difficult to monitor the progress of work. He suggests that the government should appoint special officers to oversee the progress of NREGA in each panchayat, as the panchayat does not have

Page 33 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

sufficient manpower to do this. This is resulting in delay of measuring work progress which in turn results in delay in wage disbursal. Prabhakaran said that his village has fixed Rs. 8000/annum for a family for the job scheme. He said that it should be hiked to Rs. 12,000. He said that agricultural workers must be enrolled under NREGA so they can the benefit from the scheme. He suggested that involving women’s self-help group in monitoring the progress of NREGA work will be beneficial as currently the social audit component of the scheme is not being taken up seriously. Kalyanasundaram, working in Avaniyapuram near Madurai, said that work is not progressing properly as people with technical knowledge are not available to take measurements of the progress of work and so on. “Hundreds of people report for work how to monitor, - measurement not being taken properly at work site, because only one or two engineers are employed to do this. Mambatti, tattu, needed to be brought – not bringing implements properly – difficult to get work done. Kachcha roads in Pappanayackenpatti converted into pucca roads as part of NREGA project. Technical line persons are not enough to monitor work. Nagarajan, president of Melakottaiyyan panchayat, said that the scheme would bring more benefits if it gave every person 100 days work. He said that the panchayat president is over burdened by administrative work. He suggested that the scheme should be developed as a “namakku naamey thittam” – which means people working for their own welfare - and should have provisions for self-monitoring. • Pudupatty women demanded 150 days of work under NREGA: S. Pandiammal, from T.Pudupatty village said that she would like the wages to be hiked under the scheme. Since only seasonal employment is available in the village and women can find work only for six months, she requested the government to increase the number of days to 150 days increased. She said that the women in her village are empowered because they do not have to depend on husband’s earnings for running the house. She said that harassment at the hands of moneylenders has also reduced thanks to the scheme. The scheme also improved women’s savings through self-help groups. Rajalakshmi, another woman from the same village said that Rs. 100 is not sufficient as a wage and demanded increased wages. Video feedback from different places - Govindasamy, Rengapalayam – P.Alagarsamy – Veluchamy – Gunasekaran, S.Pandiammal and Rajalakshmi.

Page 34 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

Appendix E: Detailed experience report of campaigns at Anna Community Radio Anna Community Radio is located in Guindy, Chennai, Tamil Nadu and it is run by the Anna Universirty campus. Areas like Kannigapuram, Kotturpuramm, Balajinagar, Saidapet, Little Mount, Kobalitittam, Chitra Nagar, Ventakapuram fall under its coverage area of 10 kms. Students, day laborers and housewives form major chunk of the listeners, with almost 70 per cent female audience. According to the station women regularly listen and also participate in the programs. The station transmits for 11 hours daily. Anna CRS was institutionalised in 2004, with a view to impart quality education through a campus community radio station. With this Anna CRS became the first ever campus community radio station in the country. In 2005 it was brought under Department of Science and Technology’s (DST) Science for Women (SFW) project to engage women from marginalized communities and to create awareness among them about the basics of science in daily life. Till date 40 to 50 percent of the programs are the product of community participation and involvement.

Campaign on Right to Education ANNA community radio station participated in the awareness raising campaign with an aim to understand the impact and prevailing awareness about Right To Education among the students, common villagers and parents of students. Saidapet, Velacheri, Mandaveli, Mylapore, Kotturpuram and Kannigapuram were among the villages covered under the campaign. A survey was conducted by the reporters of the station, involving teachers, headteachers, students, parents, lawyers to understand their outlook and knowledge about the scheme. A total of 21 schools were included in the survey among which 7 were government and 14 were private schools. The sampling was random. The community radio personnel who conducted the survey reported about the noncooperative attitude of some of the head-teachers and teachers who were not ready to divulge any information about the issues related to RTE.

Major survey findings Among all the person survey 58% were aware of the scheme. It is interesting to note that among all the students only 62.5% were aware of RTE, while none of the parents or common villagers surveyed reported to be aware of the scheme. All the teachers and headmaster were aware of it. On inquiring the parents whether they have ever

Page 35 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

attended any education discussion arranged in the community or by the schools, none of them replied in affirmative. On asking what they think could be an effective medium to raise awareness about the scheme, most of the respondent voted for radio programmes, followed by message boards, pamphlets, Anganwadi workers, television programmes, songs and drama and books. 63% of all the respondents replied that they think RTE could improve the education system and increase its accessibility to the poorer section. In it is interesting to note here that only 25% of the parents think RTE could bring a positive change in the education system while 74% of the students have the same feeling. There is a mixed response among the teachers with 33% clearly mentioning that they do not think RTE could embark any positive change in the education system. The survey also revealed that there is a resistance among the teachers of the government schools regarding certain provisions in RTE, like prohibiting corporal punishment of the students. Most of the private schools however, kept this question unanswered. There is a general consensus among the students that RTE will help in improving the education system but they also expressed that no proper processes are in place to pro-actively implement it.

Programme planning and implementation Following the survey and analysis of the result Anna CRS along with Gram Vaani developed programmes to increase awareness about RTE among the students, parents and teachers. Promotional programmes were developed to inform the listeners about such a campaign. A total of 14 programmes were aired as a part of the initiative. A brief note on the nature and content of the programmes is provided below: RTE – Episode 1: Episode one aired interviews of parents, students, teachers and the principals about their knowledge and understanding of RTE. It also promoted the series on RTE, so that the listeners would tune into and listen to the programmes regularly. RTE – Episode 2: Episode two explained in detailed about the provision of reservation for children in schools. The information was delivered through a skit format by the community people of Anna CR. It also included a song on importance of the act and education for children. RTE – Episode 3: This episode explained the relevance and importance of a special training for children. This episode was also designed through a skit format by the community people of Anna CR.

Page 36 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

RTE – Episode 4: Episode four explained the process and importance of maintenance of records in schools in detail. The same skit format was also adopted for this episode. RTE – Episode 5: Episode five explained about the roles and responsibilities of the local authority regarding RTE, in detail. It elaborated the various roles the local authority is supposed to play in ensuring proper implementation of RTE. RTE – Episode 6: Episode six attempted to explain the importance of school recognition. RTE – Episode 7: This episode explained about the withdrawal of school recognition in detail. Mr. Arokiadass, a lawyer, explained about the withdrawal of school recognition to the community people through an interview. RTE – Episode 8: This episode explained about school management committee in detail. Dr. S. Thirumagan who is a school principal explains about the school management committee to the community people through an interview. RTE – Episode 9: This episode explained about the definition of a neighbourhood in detail. The information is delivered through a skit format by the community people of Anna CR and also contained a song which explained the importance of the act and education for children. RTE – Episode 10: This episode explained about schools and RTE in detail. The information was delivered through a skit by the community people of Anna CR and also contained a song which conveyed the importance of the act and education for children. RTE – Episode 11: This episode explained about state advisory council in detail. The information is delivered through a skit which is followed by an interview with Dr. Seetha Lakshmi who is a lawyer, she explains about the state advisory council clearly. RTE – Episode 12: This episode explained about responsibilities of schools and teachers in detail. The information is delivered through a skit which is followed by an interview with a headmaster who explains about the responsibilities of schools and teachers. RTE – Episode 13: This episode explained about reimbursement in detail. The information was delivered through a skit which was followed by an interview with Mr. Selvam, a senior teacher in a government school who explains about the reimbursement. This episode also contained the song on RTE. RTE – Episode 14: This episode explained the duties of teachers. The information was delivered through a skit which was followed by an interview with Mr. Selvam, a senior teacher in a government school.

Page 37 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

About Gram Vaani Community Media
Gram Vaani, meaning 'voice of the village', builds innovative technologies to empower m poor and marginalized communities to voice their opinions and demands. Starting in 2009, we built a pioneering radio automation system that now runs at 25+ community radio stations in India and 5 in Africa, enabling an aggregate population of 2.5 million tations people to create their own local media. In 2011, we built a news news-over-phone citizen phone journalism service that in now deployed at Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh in India, and in Afghanistan and Pakistan internationally, and has a cumulative usage of over 7000+ fghanistan calls per day. We are also building similar services in urban areas for citizen citizen-based monitoring of public services. Our technologies thus empower even poorly poorly-literate and low-income communities to create and share local content. We have won several income awards, including the following: o International Knight News Challenge, 2008 o National Level Manthan Award for technology for development, 2009 o Economic Times Powers of Ideas, 2010 o Profiled among top 10 innovative companies in India by Fast Company, 2011 top-10 o Finalist in Ashoka Changemakers, 2012

Our partners include the following:

MCD Delhi

Knight Foundation

IIT Delhi

Page 38 of 39

Public Information Campaigns on Community Radio

The Gram Vaani team consists of young professionals keen to follow their passion and leverage their background to create meaningful change in society.

Page 39 of 39