Coronavirus (1315) India Covid-19: The community radio station fighting fake news

7 July, 2021

News item on the BBC website. Text and video online: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-asia-india-57635763

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India Covid-19: The community radio station fighting fake news

Radio Mewat has been around for decades in Haryana's Nuh district, a region locally known as Mewat, spreading awareness about various things, from primary healthcare to gender rights.

So when Covid-19 struck, its staff also took on the challenge of fighting fake news so people would follow safety protocols and take their jabs.

Sohrab Khan, who has worked at Radio Mewat for a decade, said it's been a challenge, but their efforts paid off when people began taking the threat posed by the virus seriously.

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Selected extracts from video:

"At first I believed the rumours that the vaccine causes vomiting, diarrhoea or death"

"It's called a "narrowcast". We visit villages with a pen drive and raido. We gather people in groups of 10-15... We convince people that the vaccine is beneficial..."

"Initially the villagers didn't even believe that COVID was real. Eventually people started wearing masks, taking social distance and even getting vaccines"

Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator, neil@hifa.org www.hifa.org