Radio Meghna pledges for secured livelihood for the fisher folk and small islanders in Bay of Bengal

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banner18 February 2015 is a memorable day of the history of Charfassion, Bhola as the community fm radio named ‘Radio Meghna’ is inaugurated by the Honorable Minister of Information Mr. Hasanul Huq Inu. The Deputy Minister of Environment and Forest and the locally elected people’s representative Mr. Abdullah Al Islam Jacob MP

was also present in the inauguration along with the honorable Information Secretary Mr. Mortuza Ahmad, the Managing Director of PKSF Mr. Abdul Karim (former Cabinet Secretary), the Director General of Bangladesh Betar Mr. Kazi Akhtar Uddin Ahmed (Additional Secretary), the former Parliament Member Dr. Akram Hossain Chowdhury.

The Country Director of Action Aid Bangladesh Ms. Farah Kabir and the Director of same organization Mr. Asgar Ali Sabri also witnessed the grand inauguration. The Regional Policy Coordinator of Oxfam GB Asia Mr. Ziaul Huq Mukta was also present. CEO of BNNRC Mr. AHM Bazlur Rahman, Executive Director of VOICE Mr. Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, both of who are the member of National Monitoring Committee of Community Radios of Bangladesh were also present.

The honorable Information Minister inaugurates the radio by his live speech to remark the people of Charfassion. The honorable Deputy Minister of Environment and Forest also spoke live into the microphone to address the people.

After unwrapping the name-stone of Radio Meghna and opening the broadcasting the guests participated in a discussion held at the Brajagopal Town Hall of Charfassion in the afternoon which is jointly hosted by COAST Trust, Upazila Council of Charfassion and Charfassion Municipality. Mr. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, the Executive Director of COAST Trust chaired and moderated the discussion.

The Deputy Comissioner of Bhola district Mr. Selim Reza and the Police Super of Bhola Mr. Kamruzzaman were also present in the inauguration discussion. The local government officials, elected people’s representatives of the upazila council and the municipality were also present.

On behalf of the community, COAST presented the slides on how this community radio can contribute in establishing the security of the sea-going fishermen from the life threatening piracy and cyclones in the Bay of Bengal. COAST also presented how a community can play an important role to end the digital divide and pave the Digital Justice in the rural and remote island community.

The key demands from the discussion raised are: > to increase the transmission power from 100 watt to at least 250 watt so that the broadcast can cover the sea going boats and small islanders; > to release the Universal Obligatory Fund and let the community radios access to this fund to serve the people who are deprived of tele-service; > to create scope of working to end the digital divide and establish the digital justice; > to declare the Air Wave as the Common Public Good and let the non-profit community media to use it more than the profit making commercial media.

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