Sarathi-Jhalak, a unique Community Radio Station, developed and run primarily by women! Sarathi Jhalak, has its roots in Sarathi, a Bangalore based nonprofit organization working towards the betterment of under privileged people, through media. Ours is a Knowledge based organization and strongly believes in information and knowledge as tool for change in society.

Sarathi Jhalak has set up a radio station (FM 90.4 MHz) with a 50 m high transmission tower, in Anugondana Halli hobli, Hoskote, on the eastern periphery of Bangalore, an effort promoted over five years with the Department of Information and Broadcasting. Sarathi Jhalak is already established and transmitting to 63 villages in this area, covering a population of close to a million. The coverage area has a significant population of educated, semi-urbanized, and predominantly young people, who are at the threshold of urbanization. Since it has geographical proximity to Bangalore city, but is still untouched by rapid urbanization, we see this area as offering an excellent opportunity for environmental development, education of young and old alike and counseling and participation to induct right values, to effectively integrate the residents with city life.

Sarathi Jhalak has started transmission since August, 2012, and currently has 10 hours of programming daily. It has been set up primarily on the strength of strong voluntary efforts of the proponents and their team, with technical support and financial assistance of GoI Ministry of Information. Having demonstrated our capacity to conceptualize, set up and run the station, we now seek your partnership in taking India’s only Community Radio station developed and run by women, to the next level. We aim to focus on:

The Concept:
“UNESCO sees community radio (CR) as a medium that gives voice to the voiceless, that serves as the mouthpiece of the marginalized, and is at the heart of communication and democratic processes within societies. With CR citizens express their views on decisions that concern them. The notions of transparency and good governance take on new dimensions, and democracy is reinforced.”

Sarathi Jhalak sees itself as a vehicle of social empowerment and education through the medium of Community Radio, in a semi-urban area near Bangalore. The Community Radio experiment has been designed based on community involvement, preparation of local content, tailoring knowledge to local concerns and being a catalyst in finding solutions to improve governance and administration at local levels.

The Genesis
SAARATHI- A Research Center was set up in 2001 to bring together a wealth of experience in all forms of media into practice. Some of the works undertaken by Sarathi are…

All of these initiatives have reached the community effectively, and given the founders of Sarathi Jhalak a deep appreciation as well as lots of experience in the effective use of media for outreach, education and development.

To synthesize the experience of working on gender issues, development and media and to take it to a mass, we conceived the idea of setting up a Community Radio Station. The idea took root in 2007, with an application to the Ministry of Information. After several rounds of meetings and discussions, the final sanction for Sarathi Jhalak was received from the Ministry in June 2012, with technical assistance from the BECIL. The station was given the frequency of FM 90.4. The radio station was named “Jhalak” as it would provide the target population with a glimpse of what they had been missing all these years – informative content, locally relevant and tailored to be informative, fun and progressive.

Progress made so far
We have set up the 50 m high communication tower at Anugondanahalli, Bangalore East. After trial runs and tests, our Community Radio went on air on August 23rd 2012, which was a proud moment for us all!! Since local participation and voluntarism are the bedrock of Sarathi, we have a team of enthusiastic team members who are really engaged with local society to manage and run the station. We have trained them in the basics of programme creation and content generation, and are currently transmitting programmes for 12 hours every day, without missing a single day! We have succeeded in making a presence in the local community. Local responses have been extremely encouraging, and we have got significant press coverage, featured in respected newspapers like New Indian Express, The Statesman and Vijaya Vaani.

Our requirements
Sarathi Jhalak’s running costs are currently being funded on a purely voluntary basis. We were greatly assisted in setting up the station by the generosity of the BECIL, a Government of India undertaking, and the Information Department of Government of Karnataka. The major source of funding currently is the funds of the founders as well as voluntary efforts of the employees.

Since the Community Radio station is not run on commercial principles, we need active support from the local community and enlightened corporate to participate with us in this exciting venture!

We look forward to discussing specific partnership proposals, initiatives and programmes that you can support and sponsor, to take our station forward and to train our team members and participants in newer and better ways of engaging with the local community to achieve the developmental goals.

How are our donors benefitted?
We propagate your organization (the sponsors) in announcement with a few promotional jingles and advertisements. We follow all guide lines set by Information and Broadcasting Ministry, Government of India. About the Founder:

DS Shamantha has worked in the media, development and has more than 20 years of professional work experience covering various domains of media. She has worked, at different times, as Associate Editor for films, Associate Editor and publisher for a women’s monthly magazine, been a development journalist on TV and Radio. She founded SAARATHI– a Resource Center for Communication. She is currently associated with All India Radio, educational and informative channel of Indira Gandhi Open University (IGNOU-Gnanavani FM channel) in the field of development. She has written 104 episodes on development issues for Population Information Study, New York - USA. She has extensive experience in development journalism and has produced many programmes for TV.


Ours is a group 13, among 7 are women. 7 programmers, 2 contributors and 3 are field co ordinaters. All are PUC, diploma and a law student from different villages. Currently, we are broadcasting various programs between 6am and 10pm. Our women programmers and field coordinators are closely associated with stree shakthi movement in our area.