COVID-19 Made Radio a Popular Medium in Creating Organ Donation Awareness
'Necessity is the mother of invention' – Plato
As technology took over the reins during the pandemic, staying connected with the masses and awareness creation in remote locations were becoming challenging. Innovation was the need of the hour and what came to rescue was a medium of communication that was in vogue before the advent of internet – the Radio.
MOHAN Foundation Jaipur Citizen's Forum (MFJCF) had been visiting gram panchayats of Rajasthan to create awareness about organ donation, however the campaign came to a complete halt as the pandemic arrived. Undeterred, the team switched to All India Radio's Gram Bharti program from April 2021. A short play on the importance of organ donation, followed by interviews with experts is being broadcast every month, effectively tapping the rural population of the state. Ms. Bhavna Jagwani, Convener – MFJCF says, “Radio is the easiest tool for communication, wherein a shepherd who is grazing cattle or a woman working in the farm can listen to and absorb the information. Hence this is the best outreach program to touch base with the rural population of the state, as 90% of the donors are from rural Rajasthan.”
In Tamil Nadu, a one-month long campaign was broadcast in the month of September 2021 on Arasu FM – the community radio channel of Arasu Engineering College, Kumbakonam. Similar awareness campaigns were broadcast in August 2021 on the community radio channels of Anna University, Chennai and National Institute of Technology, Trichy. Dr. Hemal Kanvinde – Quality Assurance Officer, MOHAN Foundation said,
“Community radio is the most effective medium to create awareness among targeted communities.”
AIR Rainbow FM Jalandhar invited Mr. Sudhir Dewan – Honorary Director of MOHAN Foundation to deliver a talk on eye and organ donation in September 2021. The radio show covered many districts of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir, covering a population of around 130 million. Since then the Chandigarh office has received many phone calls as far as from Lahore, enquiring about the process of organ donation.
A community radio project conceived in 2019 by ORGAN India is now being aired also on AIR FM, covering almost whole of Haryana, Vidisha and Dharamshala. The episodes in Hindi feature theme-based interviews and call to action for the listeners. The episodes have been broadcast in 4 different channels, reaching out to crores of listeners. “Our Radio campaign is aimed at mass dissemination of information. We have found it to be extremely impactful. In terms of reaching out to the local population wherever it is aired. Shows create impact by driving traffic to our website, lead to increase in pledges from areas where shows are aired and in also in the increase in helpline calls from those areas. Radio stations that are broadcasting the shows (whether it's AIR or Community Radio Stations) often broadcast in areas where there is very little awareness on organ donation, and they receive lots of calls and good feedback from listeners. I urge others to do the same in other states to increase mass awareness on the subject,” said Ms. Sunayana Singh – CEO, ORGAN India about the effectiveness of radio.
- Copyright © 2021. Published by MOHAN Foundation
- Keywords: Community radio, MFJCF, ORGAN India, COVID-19, Organ Donation Awareness