Using community radio for bringing about a change in life of refugees

The radio trainers came all the way from Germany to India to spread a message, that of using community radio for social change through art.

Published: 29th January 2017 04:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th January 2017 04:07 AM   |  A+A-

(From left) Vinod Pavarala, Michael Nicolai and Ralf Wendt at Hyderabad Lit Fest on Saturday | Sayantan Ghosh

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: They have come all the way from Germany to India to spread a message, that of using community radio for social change through art. It is the first visit of German radio trainers Ralf Wendt and Michael Nicolai to India and they decided on the Hyderabad Literature Festival as a platform to spread the message.

Their most recent ‘project’, Common Voices on Halle’s leading community radio stations tells the stories of Syrian refugees who made Germany their home in the recent past.

Based in the East German city of Halle that boasts of liberal media laws (which in Germany are state specific unlike India), Wendt and Nicolai are programme coordinators and trainers at Radio Corax. 
Nicolai pointed, “We realised early after Common Voices started in Feb 2016 that it should be a platform that refugees can use to communicate with their counterparts as well as Germans.” 

The refugees are in process of conducting training and will be running it on their own. 

Breaking the ice with refugees, mainly women, was not difficult as they all got comfortable within the family of Radio Corax. “Their stories are heart-wrenching, but it was easy for these women to open up considering that there is no hierarchical structure in Radio Corax,” added Nicolai. 

On Sunday, the duo will be in conversation with Prof Vinod Pavarala, Department of Communication, University of Hyderabad and also UNESCO chair on Community Media and founder-president of Community Radio Forum in India.

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