On the occasion of World Indigenous Day, Vandna Tete from Jharkhand has been invited to the South Asian Community Radio Conference, to be held from August 8 to 10 in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Notably, August 9, adopted in December 1994 by UN General Assembly resolution 49/214, marks the date of the first meeting of the UN Wirking Group on Indigenous Populations as the Sub- Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights held in Geneva in 1982.
The International Day observance will take place online on Wednesday, 9 August, 2023. This year’s theme is: Indigenous Youth as Agents of Change for Self- Determination.
Toward the same end, veteran youth leader and
renowned indigenous writer Vandna Tete has emerged as the coordinator of Asur Akhra Mobile Radio.This conference is organized by the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters' Asia-Pacific Regional Chapter.
The Director of the Asia-Pacific Regional Chapter, Suman Basnet, has stated that this conference is being held to commemorate 25 years of community broadcasting in South Asia.
It is an opportunity to review the achievements of community radio and deliberate on future programs.” I am confident that your participation will highly enhance the significance and outcome of the conference.”
The conference will focus on various topics, including transitioning of community radio to the internet, gender equality, indigenous community radio, and climate change adaptation. We request your active participation in all sessions, especially in the session on 'Media Policy Advocacy for Strengthening Indigenous Broadcasting.'
Vandna Tete said that this invitation is a significant achievement for PVTGs communities like the Asur. Although we are neither a frequency-based broadcaster nor do we have our own organized studio, we run this radio to preserve and promote our endangered language and ancestral knowledge, without any assistance from the government or non-government sources.
It is noteworthy that Asur Akhra Mobile Community Radio was initiated in January 2020. It is the only and unique radio in the country without a frequency, broadcasting through the PA system in local weekly markets and via internet platforms such as SoundCloud and YouTube.
Ropni Asur, Asinta Asur, Sukhmania Asur, Roshni Asur, Manita Asur, Chait Asur, Melan Asur, and Ajay Asur are its programmers, while Sushma Asur, Vivek Asur, and Ramesh Asur are the jockeys of this unique radio.
Operating from remote hilly villages about 180 kilometers away from Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand, in Netarhat, the preservation and broadcast of the vanishing Asur language-culture is an unparalleled example in the history of India's community radio.
*Note: The details of the text reported above are provided by K.M. Singh Munda, who is Spokesperson of Jharkhandi Bhasha Sahitya Sanskriti Akhra.