A tale of justice and solidarity for an earthquake victim suffering sexual violence

Community radio is more than just a medium of information and entertainment. It is a powerful tool for social change and empowerment, especially for the marginalized and vulnerable sections of society. This was evident in the case of a young woman, who was raped by a local man during the earthquake that hit Jajarkot and Rukum West in 2023. The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, was living in a makeshift tent with her family after their house was destroyed by the quake. One night, while she was sleeping, a man named Gopal entered her tent and forced himself on her. The woman was traumatized and terrified, but she did not lose hope. She decided to fight for her dignity and justice and filed a complaint against Gopal at the nearest police station. 

 She had the support and solidarity of a network of community radios, who took up her cause and made it their mission to ensure that she got justice. Khalanga FM, a local radio station, collaborated with CIN and 10 other community radios in Jajarkot and Rukum West, and broadcast a special episode of "Jeevan Rakshya", a programme that focused on various emergency health and social issues. The episode highlighted the plight of the woman, and the rampant problem of violence against women, especially those affected by the earthquake. The episode also featured an interview with DSP Santosh Roka, the Chief of the District Police Office Jajarkot, who assured the listeners that the police would take swift and stern action against Gopal, and that he would 

It raised awareness and sensitivity about the issue of rape and violence against women and challenged the myths and stereotypes that often blame the victims and justify the perpetrators. It also mobilized public opinion and pressure in favour of the woman and demanded that the authorities deliver justice to her. It also inspired and encouraged other survivors of rape and violence to come forward and seek help and justice. 

The episode also had a direct influence on the outcome of the case. The police became more proactive and responsive. The court also became prompter and stricter and ordered Gopal to be remanded in custody until the trial. The woman, who was initially isolated and helpless, became more confident and hopeful and received the support and respect of her family and community. The community radio and the law enforcement had worked together to create a positive change in the society, and to uphold the rights and dignity of the woman. They had shown that community radio is not only a voice of the people, but also a voice for the people, and a voice that can make a difference.