Kathmandu, Aug 9: The two-day South-Asian Community Radio Conference kicked off here today.
Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun inaugurated the conference amidst a special ceremony at Thamel-based Hotel Marshyangdi.
‘Connecting people for sustainable change across the region’ is the theme of the conference organised by the Association of Community Radio Broadcaster (ACORAB) Nepal.
In his inaugural speech, the Vice President said, “The community radios are the voices of people,” praising their role in connecting the centre with the rural and other communities.
Wishing for the success of the conference, he said he felt happy to see the participants of the conference were the activists of community radio of South Asian countries.
Community radios had a remarkable contribution to establishing the republic in Nepal, he said, drawing the government attention to render full support to their promotion. “The focus of community radio is to provide the accurate and credible news to rural communities.”
The Vice President said the enforcement of the constitution and the successful completion of the post-earthquake rebuilding drive were the main agenda of the hour, calling on the community radios to play a supportive role towards that end.
He expressed his confidence that the conference would help expand the mutual ties existing among the South Asian countries to people’s level and further consolidate them.
Giving his welcome speech on the occasion, Acorab Chair Mohan Chapagain said the conference had opened a door for mutual cooperation among the community radio in the region. It was a matter of happiness that Nepal was hosting this type of conference for the first time in the entire South Asia.
UNDP Nepal’s Assistant Country Director Heema Khadka said, “The community radio that easily connects the community has the contribution to sustainable development, socio-economic development and women empowerment.” Women’s participation for development and their empowerment should be the agenda of community radios, she stressed.
World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) Nepal co chair Min Bahadur Shahi expressed his hope that the conference would prove a milestone in terms of development and promotion of community radios.
National Information Commission Chief Krishnahari Baskota said. “This is an era of information and information is power. The community radios are playing a significant role in protecting individual’s right to information.”
Bangladesh’ Minister for Information Hasanul Haq Inu said community radio remained as a pride of particular community in many countries.
The importance of community radio in the South Region was high as it could ensure equality and development. We need community radio to fight for democracy, equality, disparity-free development, sustainable development, socialism, good governance, social justice and against poverty, cyber criminals, and terrorism, he said.
He stressed that role of community radio was always important for poverty alleviation and sustainable development.
The conference will conclude tomorrow by issuing the Kathmandu Declaration. RSS