PM Dahal stresses role of community radio for social transformation
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has said the community radios have played a crucial role for social transformation in Nepal.
Addressing the Community Radio National Conference and the 17th Annual General Meeting organized on the occasion of the Establishment Day of the Association of Community Radio Broadcasters Nepal (ACORAB) here today, he said as the major partner of the government, the community radio of Nepal have played a significant role for the implementation of the people’s right to information.
“In the context of Nepal, the community radio has shouldered an important role for upholding the right to information of the people by employing the Frequency Modulation (FM) technology. The community radios of Nepal have been playing notable role as the government’s main partner,” the PM said.
According to him, the community radios of Nepal have been playing a paramount role when it comes to increasing the citizen’s access to information, establishment of the federal democratic republic, the promotion of human rights and the rule of law, and to bringing about social transformation.
Prime Minister Dahal lauded the pivotal role of the community radio in the various movements waged for political change and the struggles undertaken for securing justice, equality and freedom.
“The role played by community radio in the peace process and the constitution drafting process is established as an unforgettable in the history itself,” he said. Recalling that the history of radio in the world is 128 years old, the Prime Minister said that the electronic media was started with the establishment of the Prajatantra Radio Nepal for the first time in 2007 BS. “With the establishment of radio, an important contribution was made to strengthening the democracy which was in infancy at that time and to promoting democratic awareness among the public,” he said.
Stating that thousands of media persons are working in radio with more than 600 radio stations operating throughout the country, Prime Minister Dahal said the community radio becoming the primary source of news and information for the hundreds of thousands of people is in itself an important achievement.
“Radio has fulfilled a significant role in the People’s War, the Second People’s Movement and the just movements in favour of justice, equality and freedom,” he said and appreciated the role played by the community radios in the peace process and constitution drafting process as well as in the struggle against the attack on the constitution and democracy.
PM Dahal opined that the role played by community radio in bringing about social awareness and transformation while vociferously opposing the social discriminations, harmful practices and aberrations has significantly contributed to building a civilized society.
Stating that the initiatives taken by radio for the promotion and preservation of Nepal’s linguistic and cultural diversities were memorable, he said the news broadcast in multiple languages and investigative radio features disseminated for the audiences who have been subjected to discrimination and exclusion in lack of access to information or lack of linguistic knowledge have become much effective.
The PM further said, “The responsibility for sustainable development and management of the mass communication media working as an important asset of the nation has now become a common responsibility. I express the government’s commitment for necessary cooperation in protecting the freedom of speech and freedom of expression and strengthening the media.”
According to him, the programmes run by the radios in fighting against the challenges and increasing the citizen’s awareness and orientation during difficult periods of national disasters as the earthquake and COVID-19 pandemic were much effective.
In this connection, he also lauded the role of ‘digital school’ played by the community radio during the time of the lockdown in keeping the school and university academic session and teaching-learning activities smooth.
Stating that the Constitution of Nepal has delegated the responsibility of operation and regulation of radio to the federal, provincial and local levels, he said the policy and legal provisions made for the effective implementation of the individual and collective rights of the three tiers of the government as provided for in the constitution were not adequate. He also expressed the commitment of the government in facilitating for designing the laws required for this.
The Prime Minister also made it clear that the government is committed to issuing an inclusive and democratic information and communication policy so as to increase the access of people of all classes, regions, castes, languages and communities in the mass communication media by recognizing the media as the national service oriented industry and adopting the protection and promotion policy.