We’ve taken the next step. Ideosync is going to be TRF’s technical partner in setting up the community radio station, and handhold us at least for the first six months to get us ready for broadcast. Beyond that, we have to find a way to raise funds.

We begin work soon on doing the woodwork for the studio and procuring the transmitter and the studio and field equipment. Then Ideosync does two induction workshops (one in each of our target schools) to build a team of students who can be trained in programming.

Our community is very spread out - almost splashed out like big large drops. The way out that we are planning is to sound proof a room in each of our target schools (low cost with egg-shell trays and durries on the ground) and let the students use those to record their programs using field recorders like the Zoom H2. Assuming we can even manage to put in a hand-me-down computer in the room, the students should be able to cut a CD and send it off to the studio. Venu of Ideosync wants to even explore the possibility of teaching the kids editing on this computer, so that they can learn the entire process without getting out of the school premises. We have to keep in mind the fact that girls especially do have quite a number of restrictions on their movement. In winter it also gets dark early so all the work has to be done before school closes at 2 pm.

Meanwhile, we have to continue to look at content partnerships (like the one we’ve been exploring with Pratham), sponsorships (to cover the enormous cost of running a CR station), and people who can contribute in terms of music, expertise, programming, advertising, you name it.

The road ahead is ironically just as potholed as Gurgaon’s roads.

First published on November 23, 2008