The Power of Radio

"A radio programme in Myanmar gives advice about how people living with a disability can lead independent lives."


The Power of Radio
Burma, Myanmar, radio, program, disable

Here at the Myanmar Radio station in Yangon the studio team are recording their programme called “Independent Living”.

The show that has been running for three years is  by people who are living with various physical disabilities.

Aung Ko Myint is Operation Director...

“Independent Living provides information for both disabled and able-bodied people.  We offer advice so those with disabilities can live on their own.”

He says feels that the show is a comfort for people who, because of their disability, cannot leave their homes very often.

“There are two main target audiences. One is disabled people and other is the general public. It is a rights-based programme that aims to show that disabled people have rights like every other citizen.”

The program includes live discussions, radio dramas, news features and poems.

Several of the staff are blind and use voice – activated editing software to be able to create the programme.

Pyie Phyo Aung is a producer of a segment called “Dairy of an un-dead flower.”

“Not that long ago – just before the water festival. A listener phoned in to say he had suffered from polio for a long time, but had just received walking aids from a donor who heard our show.”

Pyie dreams that one day they will run their own station.

“I want to try to have our own station like City FM or Mandalay FM rather than to broadcast from other stations. From there, I aim to have a TV station lead by our disabled team.”

In Myanmar disabled people are often treated like second-class citizens.

50 percent of those with a physical or mental disability will never attend school. And the chances of getting a job are slim.

But now campaigners are trying to get disability rights on the agenda.

Workshops by NGOs have helped raise awareness. And there is a draft law in parliament as part of the education reforms to ensure disabled students are treated equally.

But it will be a long slog.

For now, “Independent Living” advice has helped many people to feel human and believe that they can lead fulfilling, independent lives.

Aung Ko Myint and his team are dreaming big….

“I hope to broadcast a programme on TV. Not only on TV, I hope to get aired on international broadcasters such as RFA, BBC, VOA and DVB.”

  • Burma
  • Myanmar
  • radio
  • program
  • disable


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