Pantnagar Janvani radio station launched an awareness campaign named “Matdaan: Hamari Shan” to sensitise voters during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Pantnagar Janvani, an initiative of the Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture & Technology (GBPUAT), Pantnagar was one of the 25 community radio stations selected by the UNESCO Chair on Community Media for their Festival of Democracy (FoD) workshop organised in collaboration with Election Commission of India (ECI) that aimed at spreading voter awareness messages in a participatory way.
GBPUAT, Pantnagar, is renowned as the harbinger of the green revolution and has been the innovation ground for various agricultural technologies. Pantnagar Janvani 90.8 FM, the campus radio station reaches villages within 12-15 km radius around the Pantnagar campus. It is the first campus-based community radio station in Uttarakhand and the third such station initiated among agriculture universities in the country. The main objective of Pantnagar Janvani is to bridge the information gaps of all sections of the society, especially the farmers of the locality by providing the latest and relevant information.
After gaining insights and cues from the three-day capacity building workshop organised by the UNESCO Chair at University of Hyderabad, the Pantnagar Janvani team designed a voter awareness programmes dedicated to spreading electoral literacy. The Festival of Democracy (FoD) programmes that the station broadcast covered core themes like democracy, value of voting, informed and ethical voting, ensuring the participation of marginalised sections in the voting process, and the procedures and processes involved in voting.
These programmes were aired in different slots during the 12-hours that Pantnagar Janvani broadcasts each day, i.e. from 8 am to 8 pm. As part of its FoD campaigning, under the expert guidance of Dr. S. K. Kashyap, Joint Director, Communication and Head of Agricultural Communication Department, the station also organised a couple of awareness workshops for students regarding participation in Lok Sabha Election 2019. Team Pantnagar Janvani also partnered with school children and conducted rallies to sensitise their parents on the importance of voting.
Pantnagar Janvani interviewed the Booth Level Officer (BLO) Smt. Indu and other election officials regarding new electoral enrolment, ethical voting, and the type of elections in India. On the voting day, Pantnagar Janvani interviewed people who cast their votes to share their experiences and later aired a programme on the same.
Pantnagar Janvani’s efforts proved successful in influencing the communities to go out and vote in large numbers and they were able to mobilise many people to exercise their franchise.
Jagjeevan and team, Pantnagar Janvani 90.8 FM