COVID-19 Response with Community Radio Stations

The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the unpreparedness of the public health system and governance in India. In a scenario where information systems are centralised and oriented towards national or state-level news, Community Radio stations (CRS) have been consistently broadcasting through this crisis delivering local and relevant information. They have been responding to information needs and acting as a link between local administration and the community.

Maraa has received the IPDC (International Programme for the Development of Communication) 2020 grant by UNESCO to build a network of CR stations to share and learn from experiences, towards preventing the spread of the virus and managing the existing issues at hand. 13 CR stations across the country, broadcasting in 11 different languages, were mentored online to gain perspectives on best practices of governance and local administration; providing emotional and psychological support; application of  caste, labour and gender lens; countering misinformation and fake news. The intent of the project wass to deepen the role of Community Radio in the context of disaster, beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. The community radio stations produced programmes of how people survive, resist, tell their stories in everyday life during the pandemic, by applying perspectives learnt along the process.

You can listen to the programs here.


20 Community Radio (CR) producers from 13 CRs in India met every week online for a year to produce 100 radio episodes in collaboration with each other. The book is a culmination of the journey during the pandemic, encapsulating the experiences and wonderings of the time. The book is a collection of perspectives and creative possibilities of programming on CR, not exclusive to disaster. The book is for anyone who believes in employing reflective creative practices as an approach to their work. It proposes a different way of seeing and listening.