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110 Community Radio Stations planned in Madhya Pradesh

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By Pervez Bari


Bhopal: Close on the heels of launch of a Bhili community radio, the first ever anywhere in the world, at Bhabhara in Alirajpur district in central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh on July 30 last, now plan for setting up nine other tribal community radio stations is on the anvil.


There is a plan to set up as many as 110 community radio stations in all the tribal blocks of the Madhya Pradesh state. The soon-to-be-launched nine radio stations are meant for areas predominantly inhabited by Baiga, Korku, Saharia, Gond and Bharia tribal communities.


It may be recalled here that the state Chief Minister Mr. Shivraj Singh Chouhan dedicated the first community radio station at Bhabhara, the birth place of Shaheed Chandrashekhar Azad on the latter’s birth anniversary, July 30. This initiative has been taken by Vanya, an undertaking of the state’s Tribal Development Department.


As per the information available in this regard, these nine stations are to be set up at Baiga dominated Chada (district Dindori) and Baihar (district Balaghat); Korku dominated Khalwa(district Khandwa); Gond dominated Chicholi (district Betul); Bhil dominated Nalachha (district Dhar); Meghnagar (district Jhabua); Umari (district Guna); Sahararia dominated Sesaipura (district Sheopur); Bharia dominated Bijauri (district Chhindwara). Of these, the stations at Sesaipura, Khalwa, Nalacha and Chicholi are ready.


All these centres would broadcast programmes in the main tribal dialect of the area as well as some programmes in Hindi that is spoken in day-to-day life by the local community.
The Bhabhara radio covers a radius of 15 to 20 kilometer. At present programmes of two-hour duration are aired each in the morning and evening. Efforts are on to extend the period to five hours each.


It may be mentioned here that over 46 tribal communities reside in Madhya Pradesh. The population of Bhil community is 37.7 per cent of total tribal population. The second largest tribal community is Gond. There are three primitive tribes i.e. Baiga, Saharia and Bharia. Kol, Korku, Saharia, Bharia are some other major tribal communities. The tribals constitute 21 per cent of Madhya Pradesh state’s population.


[Pervez Bari is a Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He can be contacted at pervezbari@eth.net]
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