In their own language
Naresh Chauhan is the fastest editor in the studio of Gurgaon Ki Awaaz, a community radio channel of rural Gurgaon. A Class X dropout with no experience of computer operations until nine months ago, Chauhan runs a programme called Gurgaon Sports.
The lanky 22-year-old manages everything from reporting and editing to packaging the programme. If one asks him which software he uses to edit, he does not know the answer, but ask him how he edits, pat comes the reply: “I use multitracking.”
Chauhan and his friend Amrit Barwal were caught loafing around in their village Sarai Alahvardi by Ashutosh, a social worker who worked with schools in the area close to the Delhi-Haryana border. He told Arti Jaiman, the channel project manager, about them. “I said we will take them. The only requirement is they should know Gurgaon well. He told me that’s what they do all day, loiter around,” said Jaiman of ngo The Restoring Force that started the channel.
Asked what programmes they would like to make, Chauhan proposed the obvious: cricket. Captain of his village team, he gets all the more opportunity to meet coaches and players from various fields. His friend Barwal suggested Apna Nazariya, Apna Kaam, a programme featuring entrepreneurs who started businesses with the money they got after selling agricultural land.
|Before recognition it was like playing with gadgets. When the young reporters saw village elders regarded them with respect, they realized the power of the medium|
Jaiman recalls how difficult it was to train the youth. Many times they would go play cricket and not turn up in the studio. They had to be encouraged to experiment with the editing interface in English. “Till now it was like playing with gadgets, like a new mobile phone. What worked was recognition. When they saw that their village elders and people they interviewed held them respectfully, they realized the power of the medium,” said Jaiman.
Sharmila has come to be known as the radio lady in her village Burhera. Down To Earth caught up with her when she was covering an exhibition on solar lanterns in Burhera. “I carry a recorder wherever I go. Women here remain in ghoonghat (veil) but they speak openly to me about education, early marriage and benefits of loans from self-help groups,” said Sharmila.
Chauhan and Barwal do not want to leave the channel. Barwal worked in a Café Coffee Day earlier but felt out of place. “Here we can talk to people in the language we learnt when growing up,” he said in chaste Haryanvi.
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