The journey of Gurgaon Ki Awaaz begins in 2008, when our parent NGO The Restoring Force, under the leadership of its President Brij Mohan Vaish decided to apply for a community radio license to extend its work in government schools in Gurgaon.

Under the revised Community Radio Policy Guidelines 2006, NGOs were eligible to apply. TRF applied in 2008, and after due diligence by the Home Ministry was invited to appear before the screening committee at Shastri Bhawan.

We received a Letter of Intent soon after and then began the work of mapping out our target community, doing a needs assessment survey and also simultaneously applying for a Wireless Operating License.

The entire process of licensing, as well as mapping the community and putting together a team of community reporters as well as identifying a training and set-up partner took over a year.

In November 2009, we finally went on air after months of training by Ideosync Media Combine’s Venu Arora and N Ramakrishnan who handheld us from everything from how to set up our studio to how to write, record, edit and broadcast, and most importantly, how to stay true to the principles of community radio broadcasting.

Our transmitter and antenna have been courtesy Nomad India Network. And Hemant Babu has supported us for over a decade of broadcasting.

Our playout system soon migrated within months to Gramvaani’s Gramin Radio Internetworking System (GRINS), and through that and Nomad’s streaming services, we also simulcast our broadcast over the internet.

In 2011 we were empanelled with DAVP and started receiving our first government advertisement. These are a financial support, however timely payments continues to be a big challenge.

In 2011, we also entered into a collaboration with Sesame Workshop India Trust, the producers of Galli Galli Sim Sim, to broadcast their Galli Galli Sim Sim radio episodes, specifically focussed on teaching life skills to children in the 5-8 years age group among migrant worker families. The resultant Radiophone Project was one of its kind and ultimately spread to 10 radio stations across 5 states reaching lakhs of children from disadvantaged families. More about Radiophone Project here and here.

The Radiophone Project also because of which we were able to start internet streaming for the first time, through support from Qualcomm. We have continued our streaming broadcast since then.

It was also our first experience of IVRS-based system whether through Gramvaani’s On-demand Radio Over Telephony or later, the IVRS push-messaging system of the company

In 2012, we partnered with Commonwealth Of Learning and Maraa to launch our most ambitious program series, the Community Learning Program “Chahat Chowk” which was intensely participatory program production and design focussed on sexual and reproductive health. The training we received during that gruelling first phase has stayed with us, and we continue to use many tools from the CLP approach for our other programs.

You can read more about Chahat Chowk here and here and here.

In 2015 under Ideosync Media Combine’s Freedem Initiative, Gurgaon Ki Awaaz partnered with the organisation We The People Abhiyaan to produce a 13-part series on the Preamble to the Indian Constitution. The series brought together lawyers and social activists to unpack the key values of the Preamble and word by word explain how the values enshrined in the Preamble are critical to our personal lives.

You can read more about this series in the annual report of We The People here.

Since 2017, we have also been working closely with the feminist organisation CREA, first to share content for their Kahi Ankahi Baatein IVRS infoline and then to produce our adolescent emotional health programs Bavra Mausam. CREA continues to be a partner in our programs on gender-based violence, sexual harassment, and gender identity.

In 2017, we also launched our most ambitious on-ground initiative. The Dastak Campaign was a partnership between Gurgaon Ki Awaaz, Asmita Theatre Group and the Block Education Office, Gurgaon and supported by CREA. The campaign took the conversation about gender-based violence through street theatre to high school and senior secondary school students in all 35 government-run schools in Gurgaon block. Reaching a staggering 50,000+ students across the 35 schools, the performance was followed by an interaction with the students and then informing them about the Bavra Mausam program on which they would be able to talk to a psychologist and share their issues.

This document was last updated on March 28, 2020
It was first published on March 25, 2020 . Filed under: #about gka,