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Varsha Raikwar

Bringing the voices of climate action to far-flung corners of India

The Bundelkhand region, occupying parts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, is primarily an agrarian economy. However, droughts and the collapse of traditional water harvesting systems have put agriculture under stress. Despite the presence of rivers, this region has a serious water deficit. These problems have also resulted in distress migration. In such a place, community radio is a powerful tool for disseminating information and increasing awareness. Varsha, a radio reporter for Radio Bundelkhand 90.4 FM, has always been a nature lover. Some time back she realised that she had to act more. In community radio, she quickly realised the power of her platform. Her voice would directly reach the masses most affected by climate crises.

She decided to use her voice to talk about climate change. She engaged her listeners by sharing information and seeking their views. For a better connection, folk songs were also used to spread information. Most importantly, she did not seek to preach. Through her programmes, she conveyed practical steps and solutions too – a big role of community radio stations. By using real success stories, she was able to tell people about climate change in their own language. In addition to these, she has also helped steer conversation toward sustainable livelihood opportunities and women empowerment. By using innovative and homegrown ways to communicate about the urgency of climate change, she is working towards SDG 13.