UNESCO Celebrates Community Trust in Radio

UNESCO New Delhi office celebrated the World Radio Day with an online event of the 5th  edition of ‘The Radio Festival’ in partnership with All India Radio (AIR) and the NGO, Seeking Modern Applications for Real Transformation (SMART), and supported by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India.

The online festival began with the inaugural session themed ‘Radio and Trust’ which aimed at spreading awareness on community radios, connect relevant partners, strengthen and motivate existing radio stations and underscrore the significance of radio in today’s digital era.

As we celebrate the 11th anniversary of the World Radio Day, we must be reminded of the accessibility and trust radio enjoys within the communities. According to a global survey, radio remains the most accessible medium in the developing countries with a penetration rate of over 75 per cent. Which is why it has been a key tool for our action in response to the crisis.
Eric Falt, Director, UNESCO New Delhi in his inaugural address

The two-hour long programme included panel discussion with eminent speakers and broadcasting professionals, who deliberated and discussed the role radio has played during the pandemic.

Radio is not just a source of information for people. It is also the repository of all our living memories—good or bad. It is a great source of relief and nostalgia, and it continues to do so even in the most distressing times. This spirit of radio should be celebrated.
Shashi Shekhar Vempati, CEO Prasar Bharati
The idea behind celebrating this day is to realize the importance of radio and strive towards making it more meaningful in the lives of people. Our Government is committed towards taking it to every corner of the country. We envisage a minimum of one Community Radio Station in every Indian district. In this regard, we wish to join forces and work together with UNESCO to tap into their technical expertise in the field and learn from the global examples.
Neerja Sekhar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

UNESCO also invited multi stakeholder collaboration for promoting community radio as a key tool for preserving indigenous and tribal languages. The UN General Assembly has proclaimed the period between 2022 and 2032 as the International Decade of Indigenous Languages.

Proclaimed in 2011 by the Member States of UNESCO, and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012 as an International Day, February 13 became World Radio Day.