RJ Priyanka stands tall and full of pride. She has the distinction of being the first transgender RJ of the country (on air since May 2010) and through her work and activism, represents the Sexual Minorities Community with extraordinary sensitivity and openness. She launched and hosts the show called ‘Yari Varu’ which focuses on issues faced by the LGBTQIA+ community, including sexual harassment, problems relating to employment, lack of housing facilities, and more. She is also actively involved in the day-to-day management of the radio station.
Fondly called the ‘Drama Queen of Radio Active’, RJ Priyanka has been a finalist for two years at the prestigious Namma Bengaluru Awards (2013- 2014 and 2014-2015). She won the ‘Suvarana State Award’ and ‘Yuva Sadheke Award” in the year 2015 for her consistent contribution in empowering members of the sexual minorities community. She has been featured in multiple publications and interviewed by many TV and radio stations. She has also acted in a short film titled ‘Jayanagara 4th Block’, in a television serial called ‘Suryakaanti’ that was broadcast on Zee Kannada, and in a play titled ‘Mohinibasmasura’. She has also participated in reality programs ‘Pekkin Express’, ‘Divided’, ‘Matandre Mathu’, to name just a few!
RJ Auto Shiv Kumar
Shiv Kumar is an auto-driver by profession and a poet at heart. Following an invitation to be interviewed at the station, he took up the opportunity of becoming the voice of the auto driver community! In 2010, his first weekly live show called Mukha Mukhi debuted and created a common platform for discussions between the auto-driver community and the general public. The show has addressed a range of issues from faulty meters, road aggression, and customer treatment to health and nutrition, occupational hazards, family issues, dealings with the RTO and the traffic police. The show ran successfully till June 2015. He then launched a new show titled ‘Mathandrae Mathu Manadalada Mathu to capture stories of auto drivers, interesting encounters with passengers and a sneak peek into the personal lives of the rickshaw drivers. This show is recorded at various auto stands in the city. He has also produced another show titled ‘Gurukula Budhukina Hadi’.
RJ Auto Shiv Kumar’s story has been extensively covered by various publications and TV channels. In the past he has also won the Honesty Award from the Bangalore Traffic Police Commissioner. He was also a finalist at the Namma Bengaluru Awards 2012. He has the unique distinction of being the world’s first Autodriver RJ.
RJ Radha Mani
In May 2015, she was invited by a fellow sex-worker to a discussion program at the station, and it was hear that she spoke her heart out through a poetry she composed, and shortly after she started volunteering at the station and soon launched a show titled “Ghanateya Dudimegaagi Naavu Manushyaru”, which features life stories of sex workers and also address issues of housing, social security and the need for decrimination
Uma, as she is fondly called, represents the sexual minority community. After working for over 14 years on the community issues, Uma was disappointed with the lack of space in the mainstream media and so turned to community media. She registered an NGO called “Jeeva”, to specifically work on advocacy of community media and mental health issues.
She also produced a documentary titled “Shruthi Saranya Love Story”, on lesbian couple, whose family had severe opposition to the relationship. At Radio Active, Uma hosts the popular show “Jeeva Diary”, and runs a quarterly magazine “Ananya”, a Kannada magazine dedicated to bringing sexual minority voices to the forefront.
Mansoor is not your regular scrap dealer. He is a man with a mission. A member of Hasiru Dala, he completed the Scrap Dealer Certification Program, jointly run by Radio Active and Hasiru Dala, and shortly after took charge of managing the operations of a Dry Waste Collection Center in Ward 168 at Jayanagar. A school drop-out, his tryst with technology began when MindTree launched the “I Got Garbage”, an android app that makes it possible to manage the center’s operations by keeping track of inventory, waste pick-ups and more. He soon took it and got on the social media sites like Facebook and started using what’s app to connect to the community. He dreams of building a scrap dealer cooperative, which will enable in creating a fair market place and price, and so decided to work towards building the Clean City Recyclers Association ( CCRA). He also has the unique distinction of representing India, at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP (Conference Of Parties) 21
He also volunteers at the station and co-hosts the daily show “Kasa Shramika Parisara Rakshka”
RJ Salma and Siddique
RJ Salma and Siddique, residents on Nayandahalli, hold the distinction of being the world’s first wife and husband waste-picker RJ. They co-host the daily show “Kasa Shramika Parisara Rakshka”. The show broadcasts programs in different Indian languages – Kannada, Tamil, Urdu and Bengali as it caters to listeners in various slums speaking multiple languages.
Salma and Siddique is also working on the “Daastan-e-Nayandahalli “, series, documenting the stories of the recyclers in Nayandahalli .
Pinky has over two decades of experience spanning careers across international education, research, training, community mobilization, waste management, livelihood development, policy advocacy, communication and strategy, and community media.
She joined IDP Education Australia, in 2000, as a key member of the start-up team and was instrumental in establishing operations, building networks, and identifying opportunities for partnerships. She was able to successfully work across all verticals of counseling, business development, consulting, and customer & client services, day-to day operations, marketing & branding, training, event management and market research. She was responsible for facilitating the Articulation Program between Christ College, Bangalore and Griffith University, Australia in 2003 and also coordinated the activities of the IDP Peace Scholarship in 2004.While at IDP she received two awards from the IDP Global Network; for Outstanding Service to IDP for initiative, leadership and dedication above expectations; and for Outstanding Service to IDP achievement through excellence in customer service, innovation in marketing, training and mentoring and outstanding teamwork.
Pinky joined the Jain Group of Institutions to head the Training & Development Division in 2005. A certified practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming from the National Federation of Neuro-linguistic Psychology (NFNLP), USA, she has trained over 2500 individuals on leadership, team building, customer service, personal development and effective interviewing.
An ardent believer in the power of community media, she has been instrumental in the launch of Radio Active, a community radio station, in June 2007 in Bangalore. The station is dedicated to providing a space for different groups to come together to create their own media landscape. Under her leadership, the station has reached out to different communities of interest, community based organizations and institutions, expanded broadcast hours to 24 hours and has attained an exemplary status of being one of the most inclusive and community – centred station in the country.
As an active participant in the advocacy of community media, she was elected as the Joint Secretary of the Community Radio Association, India, and Secretary of the South Zone Chapter of the Community Radio Association, India, from April 2012 to February 2015. She continues to be a lifetime member of CRA.
She has been part of various working groups and committee, set up on by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting like the Working Group on Peer Support Network and Revisions to Community Radio Policy (2013), Technical Committee, for Community Radio Support Scheme (2013) and was also a Jury Member- National Community Radio Awards, instituted by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (2013 and 2014)
She has also been deputed by Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA) to mentor Deccan Radio – a community radio station in Hyderabad to develop a sustainability plan (2012-13) and was deputed on behalf of the Department of Science & Technology, Ministry of Science & Technology, GOI on behalf of Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia ( CEMCA) to conduct Baseline and Capacity Building Workshops for the Planet Earth project to Kongu Engineering College, Erode, ( 2009) and MOP Vaishnav College, Chennai ( 2009); the Science for Women’s Health project to VIIT Baramati ( 2009 ) and FTII, Pune ( 2010)
She is a steering committee member of the South Asia Network for Community Media ( SANCOM), a virtual network that was launched in 2015 to promote community media in the South Asia region, for a democratic and pluralistic media environment
Pinky is an active campaigner for decentralized community based waste management and is a founder member of the Solid Waste Management Roundtable, (SWMRT) Bangalore. She has worked on several policy related documents and reports and has co-authored a paper on “A Working Observation on SWM Policy- Karnataka State and ULB Bangalore”, and “A working observation on the Dry Waste Collection Centres”, to gauge their performance and contribution. She has co-conducted a study for the Revenue Department, Government of India on “Temple Waste Management in Bangalore Case Study of 10 temples in Bangalore “. She has been instrumental in co-promoting the concept of Dry Waste Collection centres in Bangalore, and has spent over two years with her colleagues documenting the operations of the pilot centre in HSR Layout. In addition, she has been a key contributor to several policy initiatives for the city. She is also the lead author in yet to be released report titled ”A Mirage: Assessment of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and SWM Rules 2016: Wastepickers Perspectives across India”.
As one of the trustees of HasiruDala, ( means “Green Force”), a social justice organisation working with waste-pickers, sorters and itinerant waste-buyers in Bengaluru, working towards improving working conditions and access of waste, she is focused on training and capacity building for waste-pickers and has developed the “Waste-picker Training Manual and the “Scrap Dealer Training manual”. A keen researcher she has also co-authored a paper on the “Informal Waste Workers Contribution in Bengaluru”, to determine their economic contribution to the city. She was the lead author and researcher in the book “Valuing Urban Waste: The need for comprehensive recycling policy in India- 2018” that mapped informal recycling clusters ib Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi.
In 2012, she was selected among 600 candidates as a delegate for the inaugural Australia- India Youth Dialogue; the AIYD was created with the aim of forging a sustainable strategic dialogue between the youth of Australia and India in the areas of education, economics, business, security and climate change. In 2014, she received the AIYD Alumni grants for a small study titled “Community Radio: Lessons from Australia”. The report was released in January 2016
She also serves as a Board Member of SMART, an NGO working on social change and has co-conducted Capacity Building Workshop for operating community radio stations and Mahila Samakhya Groups in the Asha Jyoti Kendra districts of Uttar Pradesh, on behalf of Department of Women and Child, Government of Uttar Pradesh and UNICEF and Co organised Community Radio Awareness Workshops, on behalf of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, in partnership with SMART at Vadodara ( 23 – 25 January 2016), Varanasi ( 18 – 20 February 2016), Ranchi (25 – 27 February 2016), Udaipur ( 11 – 12 November 2016), Patna (12 – 13 December 2016 ) and Allahabad (17- 18 February 2017), Manipur ( 21 to 23 September 2017) Goa ( 21 to 23 November 2018) Port Blair ( 28 to 30th Jan 2019).
She has co-authored “Communicating the Sustainable Development Goals-A Toolkit for Community Radio Stations”, developed by SMART and Supported by UNESCO and UNICEF
She has co-founded Co Media Lab, an independent and convergent community media platform that serves as resource centre, newsroom and a space for dialogues and discussions, for community / citizen contributors.
An animal welfare activist, she makes it a point to devote time to tend to street dogs in the city and has co-founded Stray Pals which works on policy advocacy issues on street animals with the municipality, in addition to training, sensitization and handling cruelty cases.