Monday, June 26, 2006

Radio Alakal for the fishermen's community in India

Billed as the first of its kind in the country, broadcasts from FM Radio Alakal for the fishermen's community have become a hit in Kerala. Radio Alakal has earmarked one-hour slots in the morning, afternoon and evening aimed at the fisherman's community, journalist L. Ajith, the brain behind the radio, told IANS.

'The FM radio benefits the community tremendously as it airs weather reports, folklore, and specialised programmes for women and children,' said Ajith, who also runs website The radio was launched May 1, thanks to the efforts of the Kerala Swathantra Matsya Thozhilali Federation (KSMTF), the South Indian
Federation of Fishermen Societies (SIFFS), and the Society for Promotion of Alternative Computing and Employment (SPACE).

SPACE, promoted by the Kerala State IT Mission, provides technical support to the project. 'The operations are run from our office. We provide the technical and
programme support free of cost. Programme support costs us Rs.30,000 a month,' said Arun of SPACE. Ajith said under the present regulations, community radios (CRs) were
not allowed to air commercials.

'The central government has been urged to allow CRs to invite commercials from their local areas of operation with lower tariffs, and increase the range of transmission, which is presently 16 km from the place of broadcast,' he said. © 2006 Indo-Asian News Service