The inaugural session saw Mr Mayank Agrawal, CEO, Prasar Bharati, Ms. Neerja Sekhar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt of India, Mr. Hezekiel Dlamini, Advisor for Communications, UNESCO, Mr. Siddhartha Shrestha, Chief, Social Behaviour Change, Mr. Kiri Atri, External Relations Officer, UNHCR and Ms. Archana Kapoor, Founder of TRF and SMART on the dais. Each of the dignitaries spoke about the potential of radio to influence behaviour and help the country achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
The speeches were followed by the felicitation of the Sustainable Development Goal Fellows, a fellowship supported by TRF and UNESCO. It was then time to announce the winners of the POSHAN Ghar Community Engagement Award that was supported by UNICEF. Six awards were given in the category of Exclusive Breastfeeding, Complementary Feeding and Tackling Anemia. The first of its kind initiative.
The next panel on Future of Cities & Radio discussed critical points around climate change, rapid unplanned urbanization and how the medium of radio can be a driver for community sensitization towards this issue. The third session of the day was with the winners of the award of POSHAN Ghar on innovative ways of Engaging Communities for Nutrition. Moderated by Dr Moina Khan, Times School of Media Studies, the panelists were Kirandeep Kaur, Radio Bundelkhand and Krishna Kharab from Apna Radio in the Exclusive breastfeeding category, Arushi Bhatnagar, Radio Madhuban and Asha More from Vasundhara Vahini in the Complementary feeding category and Gayathri Usman, Radio Kadal Osai and Radha Shukla, Waqt ki Awaaz in the Tackling Anemia Category. The discussion around Goal 3- Good Health and Wellbeing focused on strategies beyond broadcast. The panelists also addressed issues related to Goal 2-No Hunger, which is directly related to addressing issues of wasting and mal -nutrition.
With the 4 th panel being on Awaaz Mein Hai Jaan Ya Shakl Hai Ab Pehchaan? This session explored the question of should an RJ be limited to only radio or move towards a multi-platform presence?
Aligned to Goal 3 again but also discussing Goal 6 and 7 the next panel was on Radio for Good Health and Well-being. The discussion was around the issue of creating challenging content on serious issues of health. COVID 19 or rather the pandemic witnessed the broadcast of very creative and engaging content but then to how to sustain that listenership. The panelist of this session were RJ Sulakshna (BIG FM) RJ Vijdan, RJ Divya (Radio City) and RJ Rohan (Red FM)
The last panel, conceived in the form of a debate, was on Reservation of Airwaves: Primetime for women. The panelist RJ Sayema (Radio Mirchi) RJ Sarthak (Fever) RJ Juhie (BIG FM) RJ Peeyush (Radio Nasha) RJ Juhie (BIG FM) Jitender Sharma (Radio Kisan Vani) and Radha Shukla (Waqt ki Awaz) discussed the topic of reservation of airtime for women and the different aspects that go along.
The festival came to an end with a grand performance by Sufi Singer Bilal Chisty, who has also been featured in Coke Studio. The 45-minute performance witnessed a packed hall and was the best way to end a very successful festival that saw over 300 footfalls.
The festival is an opportunity to bring as many community radio stations as possible to attend the celebrations and attend the sessions. This year’s theme was extremely relevant to CR stations as it was on the Sustainable Development Goals.