The 17th Community Radio Sarabela 98.8 is going on-air from Gaibandha District of Northern part of Bangladesh by March 2016.
SKS Foundation is initiated community radio Sarabela 98.8. There are many perennial islands, called ‘Char’ in the Jamuna River. People in Char areas suffer from perennial natural disasters being deprived of basic human needs such as health, education, communication and information services.
Now the rural and marginalized community people of Gaibandha district will have direct access to discuss their own issues through Community Radio Sarabela 98.8. Having a radio at their doorsteps, now the community people will have scope to reflect on their problems and prospects in their local dialect in line with reducing voice poverty.
Presently, 16 community radio stations are on-air and they are broadcasting 125 hours programs per day. A total of nearly 1000 young youth and youth women are involved as broadcasters in those stations. Community radio stations are going to be popular in our country; it’s approximate audience number is 5.6 million.
Potentials of Community Radio in Bangladesh are Community Radio has created scope for the poor and marginalized community to raise their own voice; it becomes the voice for the voiceless. This neo-media outlets opened scope to establish their rights of Information and communication in social, political, cultural and environmental arena, Scope widened for poverty reduction and sustainable development because of the rights to raise voice of the community and accessibility to knowledge and information, Scope opened for exchange of dialogue between local elected representatives, govt. and NGO professionals for the sake of establishing good governance, Direct linkage established between the community and the main sectors reflected in SDGs and 7th 5-year plan, Scope created for Social debate, inclusion and preservation of cultural diversity by ensuring the inclusion of the marginalized community and Community Radio is now able to play more active role in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) due to establishment of effective linkage between the govt. departments and local/rural community.
Community Radio Sarabela 98.8 is supported by Embassy of Japan and Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF). Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), an apex development organisation, was established by the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) in May 1990, for sustainable poverty reduction through employment generation.
Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication is promoting the advocacy with the government in relations to community radio with other organizations since its emergence from 2000. BNNRC has been addressing the community radio and community TV access issue for over a decade, helping to bridge the information gap of rural Bangladesh with the support from Free Press Unlimited.