Long before issues related to diversity, pluralism and marginalization had become buzzwords in the city, Radio Active had underlined their importance, through an innovative mix of community content, management and production. For 10 years, Radio Active, Bangalore’s first Community Radio Station, has been a vital voice both of and for diverse communities of special interest groups.
At its 10th anniversary celebrations on Sunday, June 25 2017, People Power, Community Connect and Voice took pride of place. A packed Bharat Scouts and Guides Grounds in downtown Bangalore, easily comprising an audience of a thousand and more at any given point of time, actively participated in the day long festivities.
Children and adults alike vied with each other to display their affection to the radio station through an impressive variety of performance, song, and dance. People with disabilities, waste pickers, women’s’ groups, rickshaw groups, LGBTQ, book lovers and more jostled and joked with each other, enhancing the colour and warmth that marked the day.
Yet, to the discerning visitor, these festivities were not just about celebrating for its own sake – this was celebrating with a purpose. Three words that echoed constantly through the celebrations were: Community, Diversity and Voice.
“People power” is what Radio Active Station Director, Pinky Chandran describes as the heart of Radio Active. Radio Active’s issue driven broadcasts are produced and management by a team of community reporters who were members and representatives of diverse communities across Bangalore. It encapsulates the essence a community radio station that was and continues to be of and for communities.
The 10th anniversary celebrations demonstrated that – if anything – this was the most striking factor underlining the station’s success. Clearly, this was not just about more power to Radio Active’s voice, but also more voice to Radio Active’s power – for good!
By Ashish Sen
Ashish Sen is an independent media consultant & community radio evangelist