Image Courtesy: Commuoh
Ramvati is a tribal woman living in the sleepy village of Patara, Madhya Pradesh. In a region where women are confined to their households she is using a unique tool for empowerment: radio broadcasts.
For 6 years she has been associated with Radio Dhadkan through which she speaks with people of 5 villages. She speaks candidly in the local language, talking about everyday matters in a vibrant, descriptive manner. She also does field reporting where she goes to households and talks to people, asking them about their work, food and livelihood.
A grin flashes across her face every time she opens her broadcasts. “Dear brothers and sisters, namaskar!” she says, opening her broadcast. The optimism in her radio broadcasts is contagious, and her enthusiasm is infectious.
Radio has brought about many positive changes in the region. Ramvati says that the quality of education, the hygiene conditions and general awareness in the community have been enhanced.
As for Ramvati herself, radio has changed her life. She credits the radio broadcasts for making her more confident and interactive. She has also contested in elections – where she used the radio as her poll symbol. “But for it I would have remained inside my veil and sat at home,” she beams. “Villagers have started to recognize me and now they say ‘Here comes the radio woman…’”