Bilal Ahmad Dar
Information is central to all forms of human activity no matter the field- be it medicine, agriculture, tourism and so on. There is need for exchange of information to ensure completion of tasks. Inefficiency will be the results, where this exchange of information is slow or there is a break down. For this reason, information is regarded as a vital resource that needs to be properly developed, because it has boomerang effect on society. Consequently, a society that has poor communication and information infrastructure perpetually lags behind
Radio helps to achieve development in rural areas, as issues of development are aired to audience in the form of various programmes and individuals are exposed to happenings in and around society, through listening to these programmes. Communication serves as the basic element of interaction and information sharing in life. Communication creates pool of ideas, strengthens the feeling of togetherness, through the exchange of messages and translates through thoughts into actions.
In Kashmir, rural populations in remote areas are marginalized by their lack of access to timely and reliable information and means of communication. At the same time, government support for rural extension services is weakening. Rural extension and development staff increasingly fail to reach remote areas because of limited personnel, material, or financial resources in conjunction with poor access. Thus, taking advantage of existing or emerging opportunities (e.g. markets) is a challenge for farmers because they miss out on relevant information, knowledge on new crops and varieties, or improved land use techniques. Moreover, rural people often lack the means and networks needed to make their interests and concerns heard, hampering their participation in societal processes.
Radio Kashmir educates rural people on new issues the society. For example, issues on Agriculture awareness (Gaemi Bayan Hindi Khaetre) rural programme, (Kashtkaaran Khaetre) for the farmers, , politics, business, current affairs and encompassing programmes of live interaction based on latest informative segments, on cultural, history, social aspects to create awareness and serves as an agent of social mobilization. It serves as an opinion leader in its news commentary and editorial (Aaj Ki Baat) and mirrors society in programmes like drama that present issues relevant to society in action which creates easy understanding and learning. Radio Kashmir then informs and educates listeners in its discussion and documentary programmes. It entertains in its light programmes like musicals, sports and comedy it also seeks to improve society in its special occupational programmes geared towards agricultural business and other related areas.
The said organization works to empower rural people by enhancing their participation in societal, economic processes. It enhances rural development by enables local stakeholders to access relevant information and knowledge on topics of sustainable development and sustainable land management. Radio Kashmir also provide opportunities to communicate and share their experiences with other farmers and Agricultural scientists from Sher-e Kashmir University of Agricultural Science and Technology (SKUAST) to disseminate existing knowledge and research results, rural people became more self-confident and proactive in their interactions, resulting in more demand-driven support activities. Overall, Radio Kashmir established itself as a strong voice by and for the rural population.
Radio is an important tool for entertaining, informing and educating society. Electronic media generally provide the public with information. Radio as an electronic medium is used to play the role of improving and changing’ social, cultural, political and technological thinking, which will in the long run, have positive results on the process of rural building. It is easily accessible and affordable, easily understood and accepted.
The author is a PhD scholar at Jaipur National University in the School of Business and Management. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org