Radio Mewat Fights Fake News Amidst Health Crisis
Mewat, or Nuh as it’s new name, is one of 21 districts in the state of Haryana, located in the northern part of India. The main communication tool or broadcasting device is community radio, but fake news now has proliferated.
In Mewat district, only 27 households have televisions. Most people do not have enough money to buy smartphones, resulting in not receiving news accurately and keeping up with the situation.
When most people don’t have TVs and smartphones. The radio station is a readily available communication channel as it helps fill the loopholes in news distribution.
Radio Mewat, a community radio station 90.4 MHz, which has been established for more than ten years, with the objective of disseminating information to the public to be aware and understand in many aspects from primary health care to rights and gender equality. The station serves 2-5 hours daily, and reaches 170 villages out of 431.
Even though the government issued a rule prohibiting community radio from broadcasting news on current affairs and political issues. But when the cvid-19 crisis started, the staff at the community radio station was obliged to serve information about health care, wearing masks and social distancing. They also have to present accurate information to combat fake news. This creates fear and causes many villagers not to get vaccinated.
Sohrab Khan, manager of the radio station Radio Mewat said that there is a huge challenge to change the mindset of people. But the community radio station strove hard to provide useful and accurate information, and helped in explaining that the vaccine is not as fatal as rumored, people began to follow the governments health mandate. Vaccines are an important shield that will help boost immunity and help prevent contracting the cornavirus from worsening or even death.
Make Nuh MasksAtchara Kapoor, founder of Radio Mewat, added that Radio Mewat is supported by the non-profit organization SMART (Seeking Modern Applications for Real Transformation) and is committed to helping people have a better quality of life.
“In addition to encouraging community residents to behave properly in the situation of CVID-19, there are other things we do that contribute to the society, such as hiring 285 women to make masks and pay wages. Then distribute masks to the community for free, and promote heavily the importance of wearing a mask”, said the founder. (report by Spring News TH)