The Axshya Community Radio Project gathered momentum as Radio Active organized the first community gathering to create awareness and initiate discussions on TB amongst the community members. On Friday, October 11 2013, around 40 men, women and children of the waste picker community residing in Jakkasandra participated in the meeting where Mr. Ramesh, a microbiologist and senior TB Lab Supervisor of RNTCP Department was the resource personnel.
Post introduction to Jeevan Jopana—Radio Active’s new series on TB care and control aired every Monday from 11:30am to 12:00pm (repeat from 08:30 to 09:00pm)—Mr. Ramesh initiated discussion on TB with the community members. The various facets of the disease—causes, signs and symptoms, risk factors, transmission modes, prevention—were broken down to simpler terms as he familiarized TB to the community members and clarified their queries. The availability of free public health facilities for TB diagnosis and treatment was stressed upon as he advised those suffering from cough for more than two weeks to undertake a free sputum test at the nearest TB testing centre to which contacts were given.
Radio Active and Waste Pickers
Radio Active engages with the waste picker community in and around Bangalore through Kasa Shramika Parisara Rakshaka, a daily radio programme produced and hosted by the community members themselves in different languages (Urdu, Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, and Hindi). Inspired by the popularity of waste-picker RJs Salma and Siddique other community members have also come forward to host shows as community RJs from their own settlements .
In association with seven likeminded NGOs, Radio Active’s commitment to integrate waste pickers into the city’s solid waste management system took shape with the formation of a waste pickers’ cooperative named Hasirudala, under the leadership of Nalini Shekhar. One of the significant contributions of Hasirudala has been the issuance of BBMP identity cards to more than 7,000 waste pickers around Bangalore.