A community radio for tribal people in Kerala

October 7th, 2008 - 4:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Mananthavady (Kerala), Oct 7 (IANS) A community radio, which will cater to a large number of tribal people and small farmers in Mananthavady in the Wayanad district of Kerala, will start service from here in December.The radio is an initiative of Wayanad Social Service Society (WSSS), a non-government organisation (NGO) formed by the Catholic Diocese of Mananthavady. Wayanad is a hilly district in north Kerala with sizeable tribal population.

According to John Choorappuzhayil, a priest and secretary of WSSS, the community radio is the first of its kind in Kerala. “The radio will be of help to the society to take its activities to the people.”

The WSSS works in the field of farming, education and micro-finance.

“In the farming area, we are focused on spreading organic farming practices. We provide support in the field of education and agriculture for tribal people here,” said John.

The community radio will be an FM service designed to cover an area within 10 km radius from Mananthavady.

The WSSS functions in about 50 tribal colonies spread across seven village panchayats. It has 2,600 farmers as members in organic farm clubs and many thrift societies, known as self-reliance groups, which function as people’s bank.

“Our members are marginal farmers. They find it difficult to attend the society’s training programmes as they have to skip farming activities. With the commissioning of the radio, they can listen to the programme from their home,” John added.

The radio station is being set up at cost of around Rs.3 million.

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