From Aditya Malaviya, UNICEF India:
For the ICDB, the UNICEF Office for Bihar got together almost 100 children from various schools in the flood-affected district of Saharsa in North Bihar to record their voices for broadcast.
As part of International Children’s Day of Broadcasting, the children’s programme focused on aspects like what do children (and young people) care about most, what are their fears and dreams, and how do they perceive the floods – and the aftermath destruction of life and property- that afflict these areas with sickening regularity.
UNICEF, with the help of Supramental, an agency specializing in developing radio programmes, together designed the format and content of the recording, before traveling to the field for recording. The recording took a whole day, and while we had requested the education section in UNICEF for 20-25 children, actually almost 100 turned up once the news of the recording spread!
We produced and aired a 30-minute radio programme with about 100 children from schools in flood affected Madhepura district, on Meena Manch and Bal Sansad. It was broadcast on March 1 (Sunday) from AIR Patna & AIR Purnia stations as part of International Broadcasting Day for Children.
The content of the programme included a Title Song sung by children, a song based on education of girl child and negating child marriage, Bal Sansad in which issues of child labour and education of the girl child has been the focus, Meena Manch, which focuses on what is Meena Manch and its activities. It also included work undertaken by members of Meena Manch during the floods, and in day- to- day life like helping their mothers to become literate, urging their fathers to give up liquor, and stopping child marriages, etc.
Then there was a radio Play which focused on prevailing social disparity between a girl child and a son in the family. However, with the intervention of Sambal Didi and Sambal Bhaiya, the issue is resolved and the play concludes on a happy note.
The programme finally concluded with some jokes shared by the children. The compact 30-minute programme was titled as Bachchon Ki Awaz, and was broadcast from TWO local AIR stations: Patna & Purnea on March 1, 2009.