Saritha Thomas

Women on the Global Community Airwaves

Women on the global community airwaves is a podcast series bringing you stories told by women around the world working to strengthen women’s voices on airwaves within their own community media. The stories are brought to you by me, Birgitte Jallov, who have worked with these issues for a lifetime. The women tell about why it is so important that women get a voice and what it means for the producers, the listeners and the community contributing. Much more here →

Saritha Thomas || Managing Trustee,                PPC India | Director, PPC UK

PPC’s founder and driving force, Saritha has nurtured a lifelong love for radio. In this episode Saritha takes us through her own voyage into and with community radio as a people’s communication and development platform, and we learn about the community radio station Mandakini Ki Awaz in Bhaduj village in Uttarakhand state in the far north of India, in the Himalaya’s, neighbouring Nepal. We learn about how it became known as a women’s radio station, not by Saritha’s design, but as the women were the most interested, courageous and bold, engaging with the station from the beginning 10 years ago.

Today the PPC counts five partner community radio stations, including the newest: Sona FM in Salem in the South Eastern Indian state of Tamil Nadu – on air for just four month at the time of recording the interview (March 2023).

Saritha believes in the life-changing capacity of community radio, which offers isolated communities an accessible, binding social medium. She hopes that the medium, which places at its hearts a voice unencumbered by the prejudices of class, caste and creed, will offer these communities a way forward: eroding a range of social evils, simply by being inclusive, and building stronger, forward-thinking communities.

An alumna of Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai’s, Social Media & Communications programme, Saritha has worked in India, UAE and the UK. Her time in commercial radio – spanning popular radio networks such as, Radio City, the Arabian Radio Network, BBC World Service Radio and BBC Radio 4 – gave way to full-time social entrepreneurship, and community radio activism.A fellow at The School of Social Entrepreneurs, London, Saritha was the only member of her Graduating class with an overseas social enterprise: PPC.

Peoples Power Collective

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Saritha with one of her Community Radio Groups (Private photo)
Saritha with one of the Peoples' Power Collective member stations. (Private photo)