The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has launched its first-ever community radio in collaboration with an NGO, the Society for Development Alternatives, on October 23, 2008 at Taragram, Orchha in Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh. This has become possible after the Ministry’s permission to the Society, a Delhi based NGO, to establish, maintain and operate a Community Radio. 34 NGOs have so far got I&B Ministry’s permission to set up and operate Community Radio Stations in different parts of the country.
The Society for Development Alternatives, among other things, is engaged in Natural Resource Management in the region through a range of activities involving conversion of wasteland to productive land, water conservation and promotion of appropriate farming practices and livestock management. Besides, the society is developing partnerships and alliances with banks, research institutes, government departments, panchayats and civil society organizations to ensure convergence of developmental goals in Bundelkhand.
The Government of India, in December 2006, had liberalized the Policy on Community Radio by bringing in the civil society and voluntary organizations, agricultural universities, ICAR institutions, Krishi Vigyan Kendras, etc also under its ambit. The policy was liberalized with a view to allow greater participation by the civil society on issues of development and social change.
The Community Radio initiative aims to empower the women, youth and marginalized groups to take part in local self-governance and overall socio-economic and cultural development of the area.