February 12, 2015

Panos South Asia launches ‘Choti Choti Baatein’,the first of its kind community radio programme by children in Patna, Bihar

On the 19th of July 2009,  Panos South Asia successfully launched the first ever Community radio programme, Choti Choti Baatein, made by the children of  Bihar.  The programme provides a platform to the children to bring to the fore their immediate concerns as well as issues critical to the communities that they belong to.

Choti Choti Batein commenced broadcast  at 11:30 am on AIR Patna’s primary channel as a weekly half- hour programme. Each broadcast will be repeated the following Wednesday at 8pm on the same frequency.  The launch for the public and press was held simultaneously at the scheduled broadcast time, at Sri Krishna Memorial Hall, Gandhi Maidan, in Patna and was attended by over two hundred school children

Choti Choti Batein is an attempt to give voice to one of the most vulnerable and marginalised sections of society, children. The Supreme Court of India recently declared “air waves” as the property of the public and Bihar’s young and enquiring minds have seized upon this opportunity to facilitate information sharing, discussion and debate on topics not only impacting Bihar’s adolescents but their communities at large. Their aim is to discuss matters of common concern and look for local solutions to their own problems.

The magazine based programme deals with issues  related to child rights, adolescent health, social development, environment, culture and entertainment.  It would not have taken off but for the support of the organisations on the ground – Azad Bachpan, Raviskalp (Patna and Lakhisarai), Manvi (Samastipur) and the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) (Gaya). Chennai based Nalandaway has helped in training the children.

Choti Choti Batein, has begun as a combined effort of 37 children hailing from these districts belonging mostly to socially and economically marginalised communities. Some of the participating chidren are rescued child labour.  It is  a radio programme produced, scripted, voiced and edited by children, in the hope and belief that in the near future, with community support, these bright young minds can set an example in community broadcasting for the rest of the country to emulate.

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