The launch of a 45 min long Radio Show in local language (Maithali) have brought flood survivors together to discuss their problems in Saptari district of South East Nepal
When visiting the flood affected areas – many people complained that they didn’t receive any relief materials. They were also confused where they should go with their queries and problems. There was nobody around to answer their questions. After talking to them and getting to know their situation we immediately got an idea, why not launch a radio show that will bring communities together – and let their problems become known to the government authorities and others with similar problems.
We discussed in the team and agreed to launch such programme. The country office was also very much positive towards our idea. And just one day after we got the idea, we were able to launch the programme, HAALCHAL – meaning asking the condition of the flood survivors. Whenever two friends or relatives or anyone meet each other the first question they ask is – HAALCHAL – how are you? So the basic idea is to know the HAALCHAL of flood survivors and let concerned authorities know and initiate to address their problems.
Five dedicated volunteers have been selected for the radio show – those who will also be working in the communities to spread hygiene message. Most of them are community health workers. These five volunteers walk into the village with a radio set in their hand. The radio set also has a flash drive with hygiene public service announcements. They play the announcements continuously whenever they walk into the village so that the people know about different hygiene and sanitation techniques. They also gather the communities together and connect them with the Radio Studio where they are given opportunity to ask various questions. They play the radio during live – telephone conversation. The community people can also listen to the radio at the same time so that they know what the stakeholder has been told when the person at the studio answered their queries. They can also cross question – if they are confused or dissatisfied with the answer.
Looking at the relevancy of the programme at such situations when flood survivors are waiting for relief and other humanitarian support – the show is also a platform for making accountability to the local authorities, NGOs and other stakeholders. The people can directly ask about the relief and support that will be available to them. They can also provide feedback and complaint if they are not happy with the aid they are receiving. Also it will help concerned stakeholders to know the situation in the areas where they are unable to reach because of geographical difficulties. This will help humanitarian relief workers to give their support to the vulnerable communities. Volunteers will also be able to talk on the radio programme.
It’s 45 min show – which now broadcast live at 03.15 pm – 04.00 pm and repeat telecast at 8:00 pm – 8:45 pm in Radio Chhinnamasta 101.4 MZ, Saptari. Government Authorities, Experts, I/NGOs representatives, health professionals among others will be the guest in the programme. Some of the unanswered questions will also be followed up by the radio team. The show will be aired every day for another seven days and will shift to alternative days.
With the funding of DCA, local NGO partner Koshi Flood Victim Society (KVS) have collaborated with Community Radio, Radio Chhinnamasta 101.4 MZ to produce this programme.
The radio also contributed 25% of the production budget to make this programme happen.
“It’s a new programme of this kind in Saptari district,” says Shiva Pratap Shah, Managing Director of the Radio Chhinnamasta 101.4 MZ. “We are excited to be first movers.”