Radio Kotagiri was started to empower the people, particularly the tribal communities, to improve the social, environmental and economic status of the indigenous communities of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve by enabling them to find their own voice via the medium of Community Radio.

Radio Kotagiri is a well functioning Community Radio Station that is managed by members of the indigenous communities at all levels from content creation to production to broadcasting to day to day running of the Radio Station. A set of trained indigenous people (barefoot journalists) who are playing a key/central role in the success of our Community Radio Station.

There are already a set of tribal youth who are barefoot journalists for the Seemai Sudhi newspaper. Their capacity would be built so that they can produce content for the community radio, produce audio clips, disseminate information from the hubs, collect data for updating the databases at the hubs and center, access online sources of information themselves. In short, they would be examples within their communities.

The content that aired is focused on filling up information gaps in key areas to address the issues of the communities. Thus it would directly contribute to improving the capacity of the communities to address the issues themselves. The radio programmes attempt to utilise resources from within the community (such as village elders, organic farmers, healers etc.) so that the relevance to and acceptance by the people is maximum. Unlike the written medium, radio programmes can be in any dialect and therefore reaches the full diversity of audience. Unlike television which requires attention to be focused on the screen, radio programmes can easily be running in the background while people are engaged in other work. The compactness, low cost and low power consumption of radio receivers means that they can be carried anywhere and listened to. Since mobile phones are very common in the area, dial in queries or feedback can be easily obtained from audience, many of whom may not be able to communicate in writing.

The CRS has a limited range (15 km maximum) around Kotagiri. Therefore to reach out to communities that are outside this range, narrowcasting of the CRS programmes is needed. In areas out of reach of the CRS, the programmes would be narrowcasted through a volunteer network that would locally play the programmes in their neighbourhood.

 

Nature/Types of programmes to be broadcasted

  • Conservation of biodiversity and nature
  • Tribal culture and arts
  • Community development including government programmes/schemes etc.
  • Climate change awareness
  • Sustainable development
  • Sustainable Livelihood options for indigenous people
  • Youth development including education counseling
  • Health related information
  • Environmental issues
  • Organic agriculture, market price information etc.

 

Sources of content

  • Local community
  • Own production
  • From other NGOs/institutions/experts
  • Government departments
  • Schools/Colleges/Hospitals etc.