Empowerment of women is one of the key themes of ‘Hamari Beti’- a weekly program run by School of Communication Studies (SCS), Panjab University, Chandigarh that completes 220 episodes on 91.2 Mhz- Radio Jyotirgamaya, a community radio station run by the School of Communication Studies.


Inaugurated on World Radio Day in 2011, ‘Hamari Beti’ highlights stories of those women who have overcome many hurdles and obstacles in their lives and went on to achieve great success. The program featured “inspiring” women like Sunita Williams (Astronaut) , Kiran Bedi (First women IPS),  Prof. Somdutta Sinha (Scientist) Sagrika Gosh (Journalist) Sudha Chandran (Actress and Kathak Dancer), Suganda Mishra (Comedian), Harshali Malhotra (Bajrangi Bhaijan fame child artist) and Arunima Sinha (1st Female Amputee to climb Mount Everest) among others. 


All the programs of radio Jyotirgamaya are being shared on social media page dedicated to the community radio. Former mayor, Chandigarh, Raj Bala Malik was the guest of honour and Rekha Mody, founder of Stree Shakti- the Parallel Force was the keynote speaker. Chairperson, School of Communication Studies, Prof. Sumedha Singh welcomed the guests. Raj Bala Malik said that it was only because of women that this world is worth living. 


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DPR, Panjab University, Renuka Salwan extended her heartfelt thanks to professors of the department. Salwan said, “I was associated with the program since initial episode and recorded nearly 20 programs of ‘Hamari Beti’ for the community radio station- Radio Jyotirgamaya. She also congratulated the department for the “big achievement, today.” 


Vice President, Public Relations Council of India- North (PRCI), Charanjit Singh said, “It is my pleasure to be back in the department and it reminds me of the days that I had spent at the university.” He further added, “The students have a power and spirit of communication that is also a wonderful gift.” He specially mentioned Prof. Jayanth N Pethkar and Prof. Archana R. Singh of SCS for encouraging and taking the task of starting this community radio station.


The first episode of the ‘Hamari Beti’ program was with former president, Rotary Club, Chandigarh, Neena Singh. The dignitaries mutually observed that support from government; private players and intermediaries may help the community radio to run programs for the upward mobility of marginalized communities such as senior citizens, women, LGBTQI+ among others. 


"Empowerment of girls has to start from  birth only. We need to teach our boys and girls both and gender-neutral parenting helps. Equal care and nutrition for children is extremely essential,” added Neena Singh.


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President, Rotary Club at Chandigarh, Jaspal Singh Sidhu who is also associated with an NGO said, “Women juggle between household work and professional life so brilliantly.” He added that women lead a hard life.


Rekha Mody, the keynote speaker observed, “Discussion brings a solution to everything. It is also instrumental in originating great ideas.” She condemned female foeticide and domestic violence. She also suggested that free transport facility to women by government can go a long way in paving a safe and secure environment. 


President of Haryana Mahila Morcha, BJP, Sumitra Chouhan condemned female foeticide and domestic violence. She also raised a question- “Are women safe? It is the need of the hour to discuss about the issues of women.” She termed three keywords- respect, security and equality as change agents in the development of women.  She also advocated that financial security of women is “extremely important.” 


Prof. Sumedha Singh said, “School of Communication Studies would start a newsletter and a news reel on various programs of the community radio.”


Prof. Archana R. Singh shared anecdotes about how the department started the community radio station and a program on issues of women- ‘Hamari Beti.’ She added, “We got to interview Sunita Williams and it was all due to persistent efforts of the team.” 


Prof. Jayanth N Pethkar of the department concluded the program by thanking the dignitaries. 

 

Mahima Singh, Advocate, Supreme Court of India and Spokesperson, Haryana Pradesh Congress; Ranjita Mehta, Spokesperson, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP); Professor Pam Rajput, Professor Emeritus Panjab University, Chandigarh among others were also present.


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