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Community Radio mainstreaming the marginalised, Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu, MP

Gaibandha, 12 July 2016:
Infromation Minister Hasanul Haq Inu, MP, today said community radio could play significant role to continue the trend of government’s development and ensure health, education, agriculture and free flow of information for the rural people in line with mainstreaming marginalised of voices for the voiceless.

The government has taken decision to set up community radio at the initiative of the private organization across the country to bring the marginalized people at the mainstream of the development and to lead the nation towards desired upliftment, the minister said.

Information minister Hasanul Haq Inu came up with the comments while addressing an inaugural ceremony of 17th Community Radio Sarabela 98.8 FM at SKS inn, an outskirt of the town here on Tuesday morning around 10 am as the chief guest.

Deputy Commissioner M. Abdus Samad, superintendent of police M. Ashraful Islam, director of Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation Dr. Taposh Kumar, and chief executive officer of Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communications AHM Bazlur Rahman were present as the special guests while chief executive of SKS Foundation Rasel Ahmed Liton presided over the function.

The community radio Sarabela would also uphold the native culture and tradition to all side by side with giving entertainment to all section of the people and empowering them, the minister said. The community radio would say about the hard to reach char dwellers and river erosion victims and their sorrows and it would play to change their living standard through solving their problems, he also said.

The Community Radio Sarabela would also play to create the sentiment against terrorism and militancy and help the government implement the 10 brands declared by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to build a middle income country by 2021 and achieve the sustainable development goal as well.
Earlier, head of programme of SKS Foundation M. Rajab Ali made a welcome speech in the function. Later, the artistes of the Radio Sarabela performed songs in the function.
A large number of people including district level officials, public representatives, political leaders and NGO representative including journalists took part in the function.
Presently, 16 community radio stations are on-air and they are broadcasting 125 hours programs per day. A total of nearly 1000 young youth and youth women are involved as broadcasters in those stations. Community radio stations are going to be popular in our country; it’s approximate audience number is 5.6 million.

Potentials of Community Radio in Bangladesh are Community Radio has created scope for the poor and marginalized community to raise their own voice; it becomes the voice for the voiceless. This neo-media outlet opened scope to establish their rights to Information and communication in social, political, cultural and environmental arena, Scope widened for poverty reduction and sustainable development because of the rights to raise voice of the community and accessibility to knowledge and information, Scope opened for exchange of dialogue between local elected representatives, govt. and NGO professionals for the sake of establishing good governance, Direct linkage established between the community and the main sectors reflected in SDGs and 7th 5-year plan, Scope created for Social debate, inclusion and preservation of cultural diversity by ensuring the inclusion of the marginalized community and Community Radio is now able to play more active role in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) due to establishment of effective linkage between the govt. departments and local/rural community.

Community Radio Sarabela 98.8 is supported by Embassy of Japan and Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF). Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), an apex development organization, was established by the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) for sustainable poverty reduction through employment generation.

Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication is promoting the advocacy with the government in relations to community radio with other organizations since its emergence from 2000. BNNRC has been addressing the community radio and community TV access issue for over a decade, helping to bridge the information gap of rural Bangladesh with the support from Free Press Unlimited.