Bangladesh Inaugurates Community Radio Law

 Forum Theatre popularizes concept of Community Radio in Bangladesh


RAJSHAHI, Oct 7   Information Minister Abul Kalam has said the present

government believes in freedom of the mass media and protecting the rights
of the media men.

He stated this while inaugurating the broadcasting program of community
radio `Radio Padma' in Rajshahi Medical College auditorium here this
evening as the chief guest.

Centre for Communication and Development(CCD), Rajshahi, Bangladesh
organised the inaugural ceremony  in collaboration with Bangladesh NGOs
Network for Radio and Communication(BNNRC) UNESCO-Bangladesh and World
Association of Christian Communication(WACC).

"We have enacted the Right to Information Act-2009 aimed at ensuring
people's access to information," the minister told the audience.

He said Radio Padma, the first community radio station among the 14
allocated so far in the country, started its broadcasting in Rajshahi from
today. He said the rest 13 stations will go for airing very soon.

Azad said that the community radio would play the most vital role in
awakening the marginalized people living in the remote areas to ensure
their overall empowerment and development.

Highlighting the aspects of the mass media, he hoped that the newly
launched community radio will play its due role in elevating the
livelihood and socio- economic development of the region's people together
with imbuing the future generation with spirit of liberation war and

Besides, he said it will focus on issues of agriculture, gender
inequality, education, trade and commerce, disaster, weather, natural
calamities, poverty and social problems and contribute a lot to building a
disparity-free digital Bangladesh.

Mayor of Rajshahi AHM Khairuzzaman Liton, Fazley Hossain Badsha, MP, Prof
Zinatun Nessa Talukder, MP, Abdul Wadud Dara, MP, Enamul Haque, MP,
Shaheen Monwara Haque, MP, and chairman of BMDA Nurul Islam Thandu also
spoke as special guests. Managing committee chairperson of the radio Prof
Moshihur Rahman chaired the colorful session.

Minister Azad said the radio should have to take the responsibility to
complement the government effort to address critical social issues at
community level, such as poverty and social exclusion, empowerment of the
marginalized and under privileged rural communities, strengthening
democratic practices and achieving development goals.

"We want to transform Bangladesh into a medium-income nation by 2021 and
build a modern knowledge based country free from poverty, corruption and
curse of illiteracy," Azad added.

He hoped that the radio will supplement the government's endeavors as a
whole. In his speech, Mayor Liton said the community raid can play an
important role in rural development alongside community empowerment.

Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) is promoting
the advocacy with the government in relations to community radio with
other organizations since its emergence in 2000 to open-up the Community
Radio in Bangladesh to address critical social issues at community level,
such as poverty, social exclusion, empowerment of marginalized rural
groups and catalyze democratic process in decision making and ongoing
development efforts.

As a result, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh
acknowledged the importance of community radio and announced the Community
Radio Installation, Broadcast & Operation Policy. Bangladesh is the 2nd
country in South Asia in formulating policy for Community Radio.

Subsequently, Bangladesh Government approved 14 initiators for
installation, operation and broadcast of community radio stations in
different parts of the country. This is the first time in Bangladesh
history, when media diversification allowed community people to be
involved in community broadcasting.

Forum Theatre popularizes concept of Community Radio in Bangladesh

Multiple street and court yard shows are performed by YCMC volunteers on community radio


© Debobroto (Debu) Chakraborty

Forum Theatre popularizes concept of Community Radio in Bangladesh
Demonstrating how the deprived can use community radio to voice their concerns, 1st show at Guliakhali village.