It is really amazing that toady 14 community radios are broadcasting 100 hours program in a day! I am proud to feel that community radio is taking place as an essential mass media within the lives of the rural people. We gave thanks to Ministry of Information of Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh that they have approved community radio activities with the objectives to achieve empowerment and to ensure right to information of the rural people. What was our dream now becomes a reality in 2012!
We could rightly identify that due to globalization, in receiving information and knowledge, the difference between urban and rural societies widened. As a result, people are losing access to the basic ingredients of life. As days go on they are becoming asset-less. On this context, we have started policy advocacy with government for community radio installation to exchange and disseminate information and knowledge effectively within the rural society. We also believe that any good work needs devotion and dedication. We have now achieved community radio after 14 years of dedication.
However we did not fail! While we see 536 young boy and girls are now working as rural broadcasters in community radio stations. A total of 125 (98 male and 27 female) are now involved in community radio station management committees from the rural community and trying to achieve the ownership at the local level. The government officials and civil society at upazila/district level have joined in CR station Advisory Committee and started motivating the mass people to take part in local development and entertainment by using community radio as a platform for mutual learning. In this way, these officials are taking a great role to build a knowledge-based society at rural level. Therefore our effort for 14 years was not mere wastage!
The reality of today is that the bondage between the community radio and local-level radio stations are getting strengthened day-by-day. Community Radio has now become their part of life. Community Radio becomes the instrument for the livelihood battle of the rural people. We have now started advocacy with the government of Bangladesh on community television. We hope that community television will come into being within a short time.
Community Radio Stations in Bangladesh will be a wonderful platform for dialogue of the rural people. This dialogue will help the community to discover their own voice. For them, this will ensure helpful social, economic and cultural conditions and the freedom of opinion in the realm of politics.
We hope this book will be useful for the community media activist, policy makers, academia and development partners working to achieve a free, independent and pluralistic community media sector of voices for the voiceless in rural Bangladesh