milestones in television in India
Kheda Communication Project
Kheda is a small district in central Gujarath. The district comprises more than 1000 villages. These villages became one of the important milk producing centers in India as an impact of ‘white revolution’. For empowering the rural community, an instructional television project was introduced. The experiment is named as Kheda Communication Project. Social evils were addressed in this special television experiment. The project was in operation under the charge of the Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad. The Development and Education Communication Unit (DECU) of Space Application Center (CAS) is involved in the conception, definition, planning, implementation and socio-economic evaluation of space applications.
To implement the experiment, 650 community television sets had installed in 443 villages. The television sets were owned by the community and maintained by the state government. The sets kept in the buildings of the Milk Producer’s Co-operative Society, schools or the Panchayath ghar. The low power transmitter established in Pij village, about 50 KMs south from Ahmmedabad. This transmitter connected to a local studio, a satellite earth station in Ahmedabad and the local Doordarshan studio. By these arrangements, Kheda Communication Project enhanced to broadcast both local productions and national satellite television programmes.
Dooradarshan and the Space Application Centre produced programmes for over an hour every day. Programmes focused on alcoholism, caste discrimination, minimum wages, family planning, gender discrimination and cooperatives. Television serials, folk drama, puppet shows and other popular formats used for local productions. Villagers worked for the project as actors, script writers, directors and visualizers for the programme production teams. Constant interaction with the people was the distinct characteristic of this project.
Programmes designed in charotari, a dialect of Guajarati. One of the early serials Chatur Mota (wise elder) on dowry and widow remarriage became an “extremely popular serial”. In the weekend series for women, the most successful were Dadi ma Ni haton (wise women’s talks), Hun Ne Mara Ae (I and my husband) and Jagi Ni Jus to (When I wake up and see).
The focus of Kheda Communication Project was:
v Exposing the oppression and bondages in the present social and economic system in such a way as to heighten understanding.
v Mobilizing the community and the individual himself to break away from these bondages.
v Promoting self-reliance among the individuals and the community.
The project commenced its operation in 1975 and closed in 1990.