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BNNRC helps escape poverty, improve lives

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29th-May-2015       
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Tareen Rahman :
Community radio is comparatively new as a communication tool in Bangladesh. Among the new communication workers, many do not have sufficient professional skills and technical knowledge.
This opinion was expressed by respective speakers in a seminar yesterday (Thursday) held in the conference room of IDB Bhaban, Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the capital. The seminar was titled, ' Pioneering, connecting & empowering voices for change- Strengthening Community Radio in Bangladesh to Fight Poverty and Promote Development'. To direct, supervise and establish regulations about the ownership of Community Radio is a big challenge ahead for Bangladesh.
Keeping the importance of this situation in view, by the initiative of Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) and with collaboration with the national organization 'Free Press' of Netherlands, the 28 month long project starting from February, 2013 will be ending in May, 2015.This project titled ' Pioneering, connecting & empowering voices for change- strengthening community Radio in Bangladesh to fight poverty and promote development' was funded by the European Commission.
Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) and Free Press Unlimited (The Netherlands), two implementing partners of the project, organized the program to highlight how the project has helped rural people to escape poverty and improve lives through production and distribution of quality and reliable information.   
The principal target of this project was to develop the community radio as a new and quickly spreading communication tool and to develop this tool in a more powerful manner so that this media tool plays a greater role as a communication media for the greater population. Another target of this project was to increase the skills and capability of BNNRC.
The targets of the project are: To increase the strength of the community radio as a communication tool for the poor in the country and to increase the solidarity between people and government.
Hasanul Haq Inu, MP, Minister; Ministry of Information graced the event as the Chief Guest. Martuza Ahmed, Secretary - Ministry of Information, Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh and  Kazi Akhtar Uddin Ahmed, Director General [Additional Secretary] Bangladesh Betar  and Chairperson,  Community  Radio  Related  Central  Monitoring  Committee,  Ministry  of  Information  were present as special guests.
Among others in the program were, Frédéric Maduraud, Minister Counsellor, Head of Political, Economic, Trade, Press and Information Section, European Union, Delegation to Bangladesh and Henrick van Asch, First Secretary, Political and Economic Affairs of Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Dhaka.
Ashish Sen, a renowned community media expert from India, shared the preliminary findings on the achievements and challenges of the project. Around 150 participants participated in the event. They included community radio station managers, producers, rural women journalists and representatives from government, academic institutions, international organizations and print and electronic media.
Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Chairperson, BNNRC Board of Trust & Executive Director - COAST Trust chaired and moderated the meeting. A photo exhibition was also organized around the program premise highlighting the achievements of the project.
In accordance with its strategy to promote an inclusive and empowered society in Bangladesh, the European Union supported the project for the period February 2013 - May 2015 for strengthening community radio across the country to produce and broadcast informative programs and enable communities to participate actively in dialogue and initiatives for development and poverty reduction.

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