Your World, Your Voice
In an extensive tour of three Indian states, BBC World Service explored the major concerns of the rapidly growing middle class in India
In preparation for the Your World, Your Voice roadshow, BBC Hindi commissioned a special report on what people want to talk about from the New Delhi-based agency, Prastut. The results of this research formed the basis for a roadshow of audience participation events, which the BBC conducted in 14 towns across Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand throughout late November and December, 2006.
Probing personal reactions
A mixture of professional people, opinion formers and business owners took part in the one-to-one interviews, including farmers, traders, police representatives, media editors and educationalists.
In each town people said that BBC can influence change. Expressing high regard for BBC Hindi programmes, they also praised BBC Hindi journalists' ability to access and interview those in authority.
There were a number of concerns shared by those across the region - unemployment, crime, education, pollution, corruption and lack of support by the authorities - but each roadshow event homed in on issues specific to the local area. For example, decline in the hand-knotted carpet industry in Bhadohi, Uttar Pradesh, is having a major impact on the local economy. A Bhadohi newspaper editor predicts disaster for employment in the area: "The carpet business has declined in the last six years and the total requirement of labourers has fallen... we have to find out why places like Agra and Delhi are getting popular for this business... is it due to the communication and connectivity that Bhadohi is lacking?"
In Arra, Bihar, there is a big debate about the availability of fertilisers, and, for the people of Deoghar, Jharkhand, the big talking point is the rapid growth of their town, which hasn't been matched by that of the water supply.
All these issues and more were addressed at the live events, where
audiences of local people engaged in debate with the BBC Hindi teams.
Take a tour of BBC Hindi.com
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