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Our Journey

The Remarkable Tale of Rudi No Radio

In the heart of SEWA, it was observed that while toiling away at their work—be it beedi rolling, incense stick making, stitching, or weaving—many of its members found solace and inspiration through the radio.

This observation unveiled the remarkable power of radio as an inclusive and accessible medium of communication in developing countries. It became evident that the majority of informal workers, including our sisters, lacked the literacy skills for print media, computer skills for electronic media, or the means to afford a television for video broadcasts.

Emboldened by these insights, SEWA's research showcased the untapped potential of radio to provide education and communication, even to the remotest villages in India.

Thus, in April 2005, a visionary initiative was born. Rudi no Radio emerged as a 15-minute weekly program on All India Radio (AIR), nurtured by the dedicated efforts of SEWA Academy. Its mission was to empower rural communities with knowledge and connectivity.

The program proudly carried the name of Rudiben, SEWA's trailblazing first member, who relentlessly worked to expand its reach into the heart of rural communities, overcoming challenges with unwavering determination.

Starting its journey on the airwaves of All India Radio-Ahmedabad (AIR-Ahm.), Rudi no Radio swiftly made its mark in the Ahmedabad-Vadodara area, captivating listeners every Saturday from 8 to 8.15 pm.

Through a rich tapestry of topics, including nutrition, insurance, health, education, environment, agriculture, traditional art & crafts, festivals, and more, the program brought valuable information and inspiration to its audience, leaving a lasting positive impact on their lives.

The overwhelming support and demand from loyal listeners led to the extension of the contract with All India Radio (AIR), recognizing the profound influence Rudi no Radio had on their lives.

Heartfelt letters poured in from listeners, humbly requesting regular broadcasts even during cricket match shifts, showcasing the resounding popularity of the show and the strong connection it fostered with its audience.

Inspired to create a dynamic and participatory platform, SEWA took a transformative step by establishing the first-ever Shrota Mandal (listeners group). This dedicated group became a hub for the audience to contribute valuable insights, including information, recipes, music, and medicinal knowledge, nurturing a spirit of collaboration and humble exchange.

Recognizing the potential for growth within the Listener's Group, the Rudi no Radio team organized training sessions, workshops, exposure visits, and video replays, further empowering the community and expanding their horizons.

To engage children in the transformative power of radio, a separate dedicated children's Listener's Group was formed engaging them through the joy of listening and encouraging their contributions of proverbs, riddles, drawings, and other creative expressions.

On November 26, 2009, building upon the resounding success of Rudi no Radio, SEWA Academy's Manipur, Sanand Taluka took a momentous leap forward by establishing the Community Rudi no Radio Station (CRS), marking a new chapter in the history of this empowering initiative.

Today, the remarkable community-led Rudi No Radio operates on the frequency 90.4, serving 50 villages within a 10 km radius. Its daily broadcasts from 9am to 1pm and 4pm to 8pm amplify the voices of villagers and women, providing a powerful platform for their stories to be heard and celebrated, continuing the legacy of Rudi no Radio's transformative journey.