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PPC's work in the field has enabled a unique perspective on the ground realities of Community Radio in India. It has offered us an in-depth insight into the existent Community Radio network - its merits, challenges and its potential to act as a social catalyst.

PPC's work on establishing Community Radio as the new -old media for rural and remote parts of India has been featured across various media. We share some recent coverage here.

If you would like to contact PPC regarding a news story or an article, do email us .

PPC's work in the field has enabled a unique perspective on the ground realities of Community Radio in India. It has offered us an in-depth insight into the existent Community Radio network - its merits, challenges and its potential to act as a social catalyst.

PPC's work on establishing Community Radio as the new -old media for rural and remote parts of India has been featured across various media. We share some recent coverage here.

If you would like to contact PPC regarding a news story or an article, do email us .

  • PPC and the Govt of Uttarakhand sign an MoU

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    by prabhath, 17 April, 2017

    23 September 2016 | Press Release

    On Friday the 23rd of September 2016, the Disaster Management Department of Governement of Uttarakhand and People's Power Collective, India, a registered Public Trust, signed a MoU to collaboratively explore and demonstrate the immense potential of Community Radio (CR) in the state, as a powerful medium for Awareness Building, Information Dissemination, and Community Participation in Disaster Management across all stages - pre, during and post disaster situations. The intended outcome is to establish a robust and sustainable multi-stakeholder Community Radio Driven Disaster Management Network across rural and isolated communities in the vulnerable hill state of Uttarakhand.

    This collaboration will enable the set up of 5 new community radio (CR) stations, in a phased manner in the high risk districts of Uttarakhand [i.e. Chamoli, Bageshwar, Uttarkashi, Pithoragarh & Almora] where CR is yet to have an impact. The collaboration will be based on the facilitation, coordination, enabling & influencing capacity of the State's Disaster Management Department, while People's Power Collective [PPC] brings its experience in community engagement and capacity building at the grassroots including in Uttarakhand and the organisation's professional expertise in the field of Community Radio. Over the past 3 years PPC enabled the establishment and sustainable running of Community Radio (CR) Mandakini Ki Aawaz (MKA) 90.8FM in collaboration with the local CBO, MKA, in the disaster prone district of Rudraprayag. This is the District's first ever CR station.

    The upcoming first phase, will see PPC actively fundraise towards the launch and execution of this initiative. The said MoU will further strengthen the ongoing efforts of the Government of Uttarakhand, to create greater awareness around Disaster Management and build more resilient communities across the state; a vision shared both by GoU and PPC.



  • The hills are alive with the sound of radio

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    by prabhath, 12 April, 2017
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    6 August 2016 || The Times of India (Bangalore) ".. It is this story of collaboration between the city NGO (People's Power Collective) and residents of Rudraprayag that will be the focus of a documentary 'A Radio of One's Own', to be screened at Numa on Saturday. From a fervent idea in the head of station manager Manvendra Singh Negi, the radio has gone on to become the voice of the valley and an important medium of communication during landslides, floods and raging forest fires in the region."
  • Community radio stations to empower people in five disaster prone districts in Uttarakhand

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    by prabhath, 12 April, 2017
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    27 May 2016 || The Times of India

    "In order to reach out to local community within minimum time span during and after a disaster, a Bangalore based organization "People Power Collective", with the help of disaster management department, is going to set up five community radio stations in remote areas of disaster prone districts in Uttarakhand.

    Post 2013 Kedarnath natural disaster, People Power Collective, which is a charitable public trust, had established a community radio station—Mandakini ki Awaaz—which began its operations from Sena Gadsari village in Rudraprayag district in year 2014.

    ..Significantly, the organization has shortlisted Pithoragarh, Bageshwar, Chamoli, Uttarkashi and Almora districts, all hilly and disaster prone districts, for setting up community radio stations. Once the MOU is signed, People Power Collective is going to carry out a survey in five districts for identifying the villages where finally radio stations would come up in collaboration with local NGO's.

    Saritha Thomas, founder of People Power Collective, told TOI, "Community radio station Mandakini Ki Awaz, which is operational at Rudraprayag, played a very important role in sharing timely information during forest fires that raged the state of Uttarakhad earlier this month. We would be tying up with five community organizations in disaster affected districts for setting up radio stations. My organization will be involved in capacity building of local people for ensuring sustainable operation of radio stations."


  • Mandakini ki Aawaz: for the people, by the people

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    by prabhath, 12 April, 2017
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    4 May 2016 || Newslaundry.com

    ".. radio station was launched in September, 2014, by Manvendra Negi's NGO Mandakini ki Awaz Kalyan Sewa Samiti, with the support of Bangalore-based organisation, People's Power Collective (PPC)."


  • Uttarakhand fire largely a Man-made Disaster

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    by prabhath, 12 April, 2017
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    3 May 2016 || Times of India (Delhi)

    "As fires rage on across Uttarakhand, Uma Negi's clear voice rings across 328 villages in the Mandakini river valley warning against fires, suggesting dos and don'ts and taking calls from concerned villagers offering reports on the affected areas. Mandakini ki Aawaz, a 20-month old community radio station set up in partnership with Bengaluru-based People's Power Collective, in Rudraprayag district, has helped touch lives in a difficult terrain at a time when power lines are melting and mobile phone co verage patchy. Uma says the fires are not new but their re solve to stop them is. “We star ted issuing warnings a month back. Now, as soon as someo ne spots a fire, they call us and we alert the community. This has helped us contain the daz mage,“ Uma says, transfor med from a quiet housewife to CR station's head of content.

    Like the school whose roof Like the school whose roof caught fire a week ago. “Children, women, men, everyone gathered to save the school,“ she said. The school is precious because that is where the village children study. The community has in the last fortnight doused fires in villages of Kanakchouri, Kandara and others, saving people and livestock in the nick of time. “During times of disaster, mobile coverage comes down, power lines melt, generators give away. Community radio is the only way to get through to people,“ Manvendra Negi, the station's head, said. And for many villages, the medium is the only way their voice can be heard by the administration."




  • Radio Saritha echoes in Uttarakhand hills

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    by prabhath, 12 April, 2017
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    8 Mar 2016 || Deccan Chronicle

    "Ms. Saritha Thomas, the brain behind the concept, has changed the way people in isolated villages learn and entertain through community radio. Founder of the People's Power Collective, which has given wings to Mandakini Ki Awaz, a Himalayan community radio, she gave up a plush job in London, to answer her new calling in the mountains."


  • Mandakini ki Aawaz Turns one

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    by prabhath, 06 April, 2017
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    18 September 2015 | Press Release


    On September 21, 2014, Mandakini Ki Aawaz 90.8FM went on the air, becoming the first Community

    Radio station in India to broadcast LIVE from the get go. Nearly a year later, Mandakini -as the station

    is fondly referred to by the community-, is the connective tissue that binds together over 299 villages

    (and counting) in the hilly and remote Mandakini River Valley region of Rudraprayag District,

    Uttarakhand. On September 21, 2015, Mandakini will be celebrating her First Birthday, and we, at

    People’s P.ow.e.r Collective (‘PPC’), a Bangalore-based Trust, and the Community-based Organisation,

    Mandakini Ki Aawaz (‘MKA’), will be celebrating this milestone, and the special journey we have

    collectively made so far.

    Community Radio is not only radio for the people, but also radio of the people, and by the people.

    Keeping this goal in mind, PPC spent three years in field research, studying Community Radio models

    across the country, and two years in close partnership with MKA, creating our own innovative model of

    Community Radio, which places open participation, ‘learning by doing’, holistic capacity sharing over

    time, and democratisation of the airwaves, at its very heart.

    Working alongside team MKA, and their wider community for 23 months from June 2013 to March

    2015, we at PPC developed strong bonds across the community, learning first-hand about their values,

    culture, needs and dreams. Armed with this knowledge and fresh insight, we were able to train and

    equip the core team at MKA, and jointly create practical and impactful radio programming, best suited

    to their community. Rajendra Negi, an avid listener, and resident of Gaon Bhiri recounts the impact

    Mandakini has had on his life, saying: “I advertised my juice business via community radio Mandakini.

    After the ad, I received so many calls placing orders; this never happened earlier. In fact, when I went

    to one village to sell my juice, the demand was more than I could supply! I’m considering making more

    juice next season.”

    Like Rajendra, our time with MKA has also been rewarding; working together through the floods of

    2013 brought us closer to our community, while deepening our resolve to build a disaster-resilient radio

    station, and eventually a disaster-resilient community. With the commitment and support of the highly

    acclaimed & respected sustainable architect, Didi Contractor and her dedicated team of young and

    inspired architects, we have constructed, (to the best of our knowledge), India’s first disaster-resilient

    community radio station; this stunning earth & stone building – has been home to Community Radio

    Mandakini, ever since.

    PPC’s firm belief in Community Radio’s potential to empower, led us to train as many members of the

    community as were willing to participate, equipping them with radio and life-essential hard and soft

    skills. Men and women from various social strata came through Mandakini’s station doors -- to leave,

    we hope, more equal than before. Team MKA is now a full-time team of 6: 3 women and 3 men, all of

    whom have spent countless hours across the training period in field work, programme-making and

    narrowcasting. For the past 12 months, this team has been broadcasting LIVE, supported every so often

    by volunteers from the wider community (including 50 other trained persons) who are either, guest

    presenters, ‘Grameen reporters’ or those from villages near and far, who simply volunteer their time on

    request.

    PPC’s residential training model that began in June 2013 ended in March 2015. We are currently in the

    middle of an on-going, remote mentoring phase returning periodically to troubleshoot, and now, to

    celebrate this wonderful milestone together. Today, MKA broadcasts LIVE, 6 hours a day, Monday

    through Saturday, and 9 hours on Sundays, inviting cross-community participation at every turn, be it

    via light-hearted programmes like the Riddle of the Day, or by engaging the community on more

    serious topics of local concern. CR Mandakini has, in fact, become the first port of call for community

    members, in various times of need. Poonam Rawat, a resident of Gaon Bhanaj, and Head of

    Communication at Mandakini Ki Aawaz, says with quiet pride: “At Mandakini, we make critical

    PRESS RELEASE, September 2015

    weather announcements every hour, based on information received from the Dehradun Met.

    Department. When a listener called in to ask if the weather forecast would hold, while he plastered the

    walls of his home, I was so glad to be able to help; I realised then that the community has grown to

    think of Mandakini as a trusted, helpful friend and advisor.”

    Encouraging, and building confident, forward-thinking, sustainable communities is, to us at PPC, the

    soul and value of Community Radio. Witnessing the emergence of a self-assured, connected

    community, as a result of MKA’s efforts this past year and the year before, has been PPC’s and MKA’s

    reward. As Shivanand Nautiyal, a resident of Gaon Badeth, and a member of the MKA team, tells us:

    “Community Radio is bringing fresh awareness to our isolated community. Today, our women and

    children enthusiastically participate in programmes like The Question of the Day; they are able to share

    their thoughts on the radio, using simple words that we use in daily conversation. This gives me such

    joy, and makes me want to work harder.”

    Attesting the same, Manvendra Singh Negi, the Station Head at MKA, notes that while “women’s

    participation was earlier low, today, it is increasing at a great pace.” He adds that Mandakini Ki

    Aawaz’s audience, both young and old, begin their day listening to station. “In the coming year, CR

    MKA will work, alongside our community, to deliver meaningful and positive content, to enable social

    and financial sustainability in our community.”

    Saritha Thomas, PPC’s Managing Trustee, relates with pride: “Seeing Team MKA steer their ship past

    the 12-month mark has been just great. We were asked recently if our handover in March 2015 to MKA

    had been tough; it was then that my team and I realised that there was no handover! The transition was

    seamless. We at PPC will cherish this, together with the many wonderful experiences of community

    living over these past 2 years in the village of Prithviraj Nagar, Garhwal. MKA will always be part of

    the PPC family, and our upcoming plans for CR in the state of Uttarakhand and beyond, will continue

    to involve this empowered radio station. A large-hearted community of individual and philanthropic

    givers has thus far generously supported PPC in its efforts; the Sir Ratan Tata Trust is our current

    institutional donor. We are truly grateful for all the support we have received.”

    The image of the once shy housewife, Uma Negi (now Mandakini’s Head of Content) confidently

    wooing many present at the CR Desi Radio & BBC Radio Studios in London, with her self-assuredness

    and newly-learnt radio skills, during PPC’s Community Radio International Exchange Programme,

    earlier this year, will forever remain with us: a symbol of the change that Community Radio can inspire.

    Mandakini Ki Aawaz’s birthday celebrations will spread across September 21st and 22nd 2015. While

    Day 1 will feature a ‘Kavi Sammelan’, Day 2 will bring together all the top local musicians who have

    found their voice, and shared their talent via their own CR MKA 90.8FM, this past year. Both events

    will be broadcast LIVE from the station premises. Our excitement is on par with that of the members of

    the local community, many of whom have told team MKA that they will be hiring a jeep on both days,

    to bring representatives from their villages to partake in the celebrations, while the others enjoy the

    LIVE broadcast from the comfort of their homes. We hope you will join us in celebrating this milestone

    for Mandakini Ki Aawaz 90.8FM, People’s P.ow.e.r Collective, our community of 150,000 people in

    this Mandakini river valley area and Community Radio in India.

    --
    For more information, please contact:
    Saritha Thomas, Founder/Managing Trustee, People’s Power Collective | Mobile: +91 73515 59798; Email:
    saritha@peoplespower-co.org

    Manvendra Singh Negi, Founder/Station Head, CR MKA | Mobile: +91 96396 49917; E-mail:
    radiomandakini@gmail.com

    We’ll be happy to share photos and audio, on request. Many thanks.



  • Community Radio Mandakini Ki Aawaz goes on air in Uttarakhand

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    by prabhath, 06 April, 2017
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    24 September 2014 | India Today

    "It is the first community radio station in Rudraprayag. About 200 villages will be in the station's coverage area.

    The station is a joint venture of an NGO called Mandakini Ki Awaaz Kalyan Sewa Samiti and Bangalore-based People's Power Collective, a public trust."



  • Rudraprayag 'thrilled' with new radio station covering everything from nutrition to natural disasters

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    by prabhath, 06 April, 2017
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    23 September 2014 | Daily Mail UK

    "It (Mandakini Ki Aawaz) is the first community radio station in Rudraprayag. About 200 villages will be in the station’s coverage area.

    The station is a joint venture by an NGO called Mandakini Ki Awaaz Kalyan Sewa Samiti and Bangalore-based People’s Power Collective, a public trust.

    A man listens to the community radio and shares information with the local children

    The station will offer programmes in Garhwali and Hindi languages between 7-9am, 12.30-1.30pm and 4.30–6.30pm every day, with additional live broadcasts as part of special Sunday programming.

    The radio station’s communication and programme coordinator Shweta Radhakrishnan said: 'Rudraprayag is prone to disasters like floods, earthquake, landslides and forest fire. Our focus will be on making the people aware about handling different types of disasters, besides making the community radio an effective tool for addressing public grievances by connecting them with the concerned departments.'"



  • A radio to save lives in Rudraprayag

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    by prabhath, 06 April, 2017
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    22 September 2014 | The Hindu

    "The station, in collaboration with the Bangalore-based People’s Power Collective, will broadcast programmes in the local Garhwali dialect, which has been categorised as “unsafe” in the Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger of UNESCO.

    The Collective, which works to bring community radio to rural and isolated communities in the country, joined hands with Mandakini Ki Awaz Kalyan Sewa Samiti, a local body, in 2010. In September 2013, the two started training local people to manage the radio station.

    “The workforce of the community radio is the residents of 80 villages in the district … ,” Saritha Thomas, founder of the Collective, says.

    A community radio became a pressing need in the region after the floods destroyed all means of communication — roads, cellphone towers and so on.“Community radio has a big role to play in grassroots-level disaster preparedness, risk reduction, relief and rescue operations, rehabilitation and the responsible reconstruction of an affected region and its people,” Ms. Thomas said.

    The community radio, she says, will address locally relevant issues such as education, nutrition, drinking water, sanitation, women’s and public health, livelihoods, migration and community well-being as well as enable the community to celebrate and preserve their language, traditions, folk music and culture.

    It is the seventh community radio in the State."