Stories Open Mic Making programmes for women in India Feba India's producer Anita shares about the Hamari Beriyan broadcasts aimed at helping women among the rural poor. The programmes address issues around education, health and women’s rights, communicating the heart of God in valuing women and the contribution they are able to make to their communities and wider society. We spoke to Feba India's series producer Anita to find out more about these vital broadcasts.* Hi there, please introduce yourself: My name is Anita and I live in Delhi. I am working as a producer for the programme Hamari Beriyan. Some strands of the Hamari Beriyan series broadcast to the north Indian state of Haryana. What made you choose this area? Before we began working on this project we did thorough research and selected the state of Haryana [as a target audience] for transmissions, because over there the women folks are much suppressed in their society. We help in the progress of our society. The same way God showed his love towards us, we also want to extend our love towards our people in need. What issues in particular are of concern? Dowry deaths are high in the state of Haryana. Cases related to dowry are much prevalent, where the woman getting married fails to bring a dowry payment with her and results in beatings and torture to the extent that she may decide to commit suicide or is even killed by her husband's family. There are even cases of brides being burnt to death (hence the shameful phrase "burning bride") and it being reported as an accident while cooking or working in the kitchen. We have also noticed that women in these areas are suppressed; where they cannot take any decision of their own, nor have enough money to take care of themselves. They are mostly dependent on the men folks in their family such father, brother, cousins, husband and so on… in other words she does not have any right vested for herself. That is when we thought "why not make programmes to empower the women folks" so we can let them know that they have power that they mightn't be aware of. You have a real heart for radio for women, what are your hopes for this ministry? Me and my entire team envision a greater picture where we are instrumental in bringing about a complete change in the lives of women folks in our society. We expect that the mind set of our listeners would change for good, that they will be empowered, and can make decisions on their own and be financially stable. We focus on uplifting the social status of the women folks by delivering them from the bondages they are in to make them self-sustainable. How do you promote self-sufficiency? We encourage listeners with reassurance that they are able to make their own decisions, generate their own source of income, especially when their husbands do not earn enough..for example, they can take some stitching or knitting work, or make some fries and pickle which can generate some household income if they are not allowed to work outside their houses. Letting them know they can manage with some household work to stand on their own feet. Read more: Bringing hope to women in India using radio Why radio? If we think about TV, people would have to sit at one place and then view our programmes which is not the case with radio since it is very portable; we opted for radio as a medium to reach out to people and on medium-wave people can listen to our programs very clearly. Secondly, radio is that thing which you can carry anywhere. Especially in Haryana, women often work in the fields and they carry these radio sets along with them. They can also hear us while working in their houses as well. What does producing this content mean to you personally? Personally I am very much satisfied with the work that I am doing, because it is not necessarily only women in villages who face problems, but women in the cities face problems, even women from well to do families are suppressed. When I began producing these programs, it really spoke to me, as I was able to understand what I might lack and how I might address my own issues. Alongside empowering other women folks, I was also being empowered by myself in the process of producing programmes for others and so I really enjoy this work especially when I listen to calls of our listeners. We consider it as a great achievement if at all we are able to bring about the slightest of a change in the lives of the people. When we hear all these stories of changes brought about through our programmes that gives us the biggest joy, happiness and satisfaction. We help in the progress of our society. The same way God showed his love towards us, we also want to extend our love towards our people in need. How can Feba supporters in the UK help? You all can support us with your valuable prayers and financial support. Covering costs for airtime, producing programmes, community visits and buying radios for distribution takes a lot a money. We are in serious need of your help. Even more than sitting here and making programs, community visits to listeners are very effective and are really liked a lot. Because what they hear on radio has literally come down to meet them is a great fascination for these listeners. This encourages them in the knowledge that we are really working for them. We need financial support for sure but without your valuable prayers all of our hard work wont bear much fruit. Please give the gift of transformative life-giving radio today and donate now. *This interview is from a translation. Some of the questions have been edited for brevity and clarity.