Sunday, 13 September 2009

[creative-radio] PARD Vaanoli Community Radio - An Introduction

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jaisakthivel <>
Date: 2009/9/9
Subject: [cr-india] PARD Vaanoli Community Radio - An Introduction
To: dx india <>

People's Action for Rural Development (PARD) is a civil society institution
set up in Madurai as early as 1988. Initially, PARD started working with
urban slum dwellings in the city of Madurai, but soon expanded its
activities to become the main coordinator of LISA Network (Low Inputs for
Sustainable Agriculture), and also moved to rural areas of Tamil Nadu, in
order to implement micro-finance actvities with rural women.

About two years back, soon after the Central Government released the
community radio guidelines, PARD applied for a license. However, the Letter
of Intent was not provided to PARD. Moreover, no reason was provided for
rejection of the application. PARD applied to the High Court, and this is
perhaps the first instance where the government has been taken to court
specifically on community radio. It would hearten supporters of the movement
to know that since the government had not given any reason, nor could they
justify why they had rejected the application, the government just as
suddenly passed the application.

A couple of months ago, PARD finally got its Wireless Operating License,
with considerable patience and courage shown by director, Mr. James
Rajasekharan, and with equally considerable help from Commonwealth
Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA). Without any fund or any other
kind of support, PARD mobilised internal support to set up a basic low cost
radio station. Finally after receipt of WOL, UNESCO agreed to pitch in with
some support through the International Program for Development of
Communication (IPDC), a major forum of the UN, with member states pitching
in with support. This support includes four capacity building programs, some
nominal support for equipment and one transmitter and antenna from NOMAD
India Network.

Set about 30 kilometers from Madurai, PARD Vaanoli has a full time team of 7
people, with 2 announcers, 2 field reporters and 3 reporters/editors.
Further, PARD has also mobilised about 6 volunteers from Madurai who are
basically slum development workers, but are expected to pitch in with the
radio as well.

PARD Vaanoli has already started producing programs with their production
set up, and in July, NOMAD India has successfully installed a transmitter
and antenna. This means that PARD Vaanoli is all set to go.

While PARD's courage and tenacity in starting their community radio station
in the face of obstacles from the government and sans support from donor
agencies, other civil society networks etc, the fact remains that PARD
Vaanoli is a station in its infancy and still requires a lot of support in
terms of capacity building; secondary equipment; seed funding, programmatic
support, and so on.

It is with a sense of keen anticipation that one will watch the progress of
this tough station, and how it will slowly but surely make a remarkable
difference to the community in and around Thirumangalam, Madurai. We wish
them all the very best, and hope to continue our association with them in
the future as well.

By Ram • August 7, 2009 (Source:

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