Him Jo Goonje
Concept and Proposal for Community Radio in Trans Himalaya region

Systems Design, Social Welfare, Oral Culture Repository, Community Engagement,

Web & Content Design, Design Research

Secure Himalaya Project by United Nations Development Programme

January-May 2019

The Trans Himalayan region paints a stunning canvas of myriad human cultures, linguistic diversity, several indigenous communities, and a multitude of species of flora and fauna. The daunting roads that lead to this austere beauty along with six months of absolute snowfall are some factors for relative seclusion and remoteness that have made them the bastions of globally significant indigenous knowledge and cultural heterogeneity. UNDP and Moef’s joint venture “Secure Himalayas” postulates securing livelihoods, conservation, and sustainable use and restoration of high range Himalayan ecosystems while enhancing the conservation of biodiversity, land, and forest resources along with the lives and livelihoods of the local communities.

“Him jo Goonje,” proposes the initiation of community radio stations at the four project sites are Pangi, Lahaul, Spiti, and Kinnaur. The mandate of the project is to invoke the new age practices of Citizen Journalism and

Citizen Science amongst the local communities and also encourage them to

actively participate in cultural conservation, archival, and documentation of traditional knowledge. It aims at promoting the niche idea of conservation through participatory policies and actions.

 

Amalgamating both the traditional radio and the new media, the proposed system gives an opportunity to the locals to assert cultural identity and self-expression in another realm, that is the digital space. The proposed system

targets the local communities taking the onus of the content creation and disseminating content and stories through diverse media channels.

The outset it has developed is where

community digital radio infrastructure with the idea that content will be available on multiple digital platforms and in ways that suit audience access. It showcases

a multi-platform approach where public and democratic discourse is shifting from

analog to digital platforms.

For the landing page of the website, I collaborated with my peer and friend Vikrant Mishra to create a stop motion (inspired by the paper-cut artists, Hari and Deepti). The visual was a metaphoric representation of the uprising of Himalayan communities, coming together at the community radio station. Tools & Materials used: Cartridge sheets (Imperial/200 GSM), Sunboard frames, Yellow LED strips and a human figurine.

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Him Jo Goonje’s role in communication, when working with rural groups, is of a facilitator and a catalyst in encouraging people’s own voices and stories. The website and book are a collation of the pitch, facts, research, interviews, and concepts that would lead to the initiation of Community Radio in the Trans-Himalayan region. It is to throw light at the stakeholders, the diminishing culture, governmental policies, the community radio, and new media systems.