patan, March 22 :  Minister for Federal Affairs and General Administration, Amanlal Modi, has said community radio had a significant role in each country's movements meant for achieving democracy and republic.     

In his address to the Community Radio National Conference and the 17th AGM of Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (ACORAB), Nepal began in Lalitpur today, the Minister insisted on the need of promoting community radio stations, citing them as an effective means of communications from the federal to local level.     

"The government is committed to the Press freedom," he said, underlining the need of policy reforms to further promote community radio. He urged the local level to cooperate and collaborate with community radio to strengthen the people's right to information.     

Participants of the programme were univocal that "community radio stations are the effective and accessible means of information for the locals," while ACORAB Vice-President Vandana Danuwar said status of community radio stations was weakening with COVID-19 pandemic and the government failed to take an encouraging approach to protect and promote them.     

While taking part in panel-wise discussions, the participants said local governments failed to incorporate community radio in their annual programmes, accusing them of underestimating the presence and significance of means of mass communications at the local level. It is said whenever local media raises issues of transparency at the local level, it is mistaken as the protest against the local government.     

ACORAB President Arjun Giri said community radio played a very important role in each crisis, but lately its presence had been largely ignored by the government.     

At present, a total of 372 community radio stations are operational across the country.     

The event will conclude tomorrow, Thursday. (RSS)