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Your World, Your Voice
 

Traditional Kalamkari storytelling artwork: image is of....
Traditional Kalamkari storytelling artwork was used at roadshow events to help the BBC connect with local audiences
 

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.

The face of BBC Hindi
View the roadshow photo gallery
Researchers wanted to get to the root of the issues that concern residents, to understand the hot topics of public interest both for the roadshow and to establish how BBC Hindi could best cover the issues now and in the future.

Probing personal reactions

 
The interviewers also probed personal reactions to wider issues, such as how the family is changing, the impact of migration to larger towns, and the effect of environmental disasters and pollution as well as healthcare provision. A lawyer in Deogarh, Jharkand, said: "We do not have a proper health facility. Doctors do not visit villages as the areas are very remote. On one side a poor man does not have money to purchase medicines - and, in a government hospital, where there are free medicines, they are past their sell-by date. There is mismanagement; these medicines are meant for distribution, they should distribute them."

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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