19.03.2003 -

Women Establish Cable Radio Network in Indian Village

150 km north of India's ICT hub Bangalore lies Budhikote, a small village where 36 women's self help groups decided to have their own ICT facility. They contributed 50 rupees every month to establish a cable radio network connecting all the 750 households of the village in order to narrowcast the audio programmes they are producing at the Budhikote Community Multi Media Center.

The center was established with the support from UNESCO. Earlier the programmes were played back during weekly group listening sessions in the self help groups meetings. Women groups tried but found it is difficult to obtain broadcast license to operate a community radio therefore they went for community owned cable radio network and 250 households are already connected.

Discovery they made recently that computers could be used to edits and produce cable community radio programmes has given them new insights to the ICTs.

The Budhikote project site is among the seven sites selected by UNESCO to asses the impact of ICTs on poverty reduction. UNESCO supported the women groups to acquire computer and the Internet connectivity at the Community Multi Media Center.

Before benefiting from the Internet it's more likely that they will start exploring the potentials of new ICTs by using computers for their own community radio productions. Soon the women hope to radio brose the Internet from their own homes using the cable radio network.

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