In rural India, folk media more effective despite social media boom

In the perspective of development, folk media and alternative media play a key role in target-based communication with people.

We live in a transitional society, which is in the process of moving from a developing to a developed stage. Various institutions of society are transitioning from passivity to activism, and from specificity to plurality, during this period.

The media, as one of society’s most important institutions, is likewise changing and diversifying. The old forms of media, on the other hand, have not been totally replaced by new forms of media. Even as different sorts of media emerge, folk and alternative media remain vital, particularly in certain locations.

Folk media significant for development in rural regions

Folk and alternative media play a critical role in target-based communication with people in the context of development.

Issues such as polio vaccination, family planning, AIDS control, toilet construction, and dowry control — all of which are necessary for development — may be addressed through folk and alternative media.

Social problems become easier to tackle

Village-specific “folk plays”, for example, can be organized, with actors staging plays on how dowry is a curse not only for the people involved but also for society as a whole. These plays appeal to rural people who are less literate, and they may be utilized to develop powerful pictorial images in their brains.

Folk plays on the detrimental impacts of population growth might also be organized to reach out to the rural people. These plays have a reputation for leaving an indelible impact on the audience. Furthermore, wall graffiti in remote communities is a key alternative medium for rural people.

Best medium to reach marginalized people

Programmes about women’s health and government schemes for pregnant women might be organized for illiterate women in rural regions, married women, and women in active reproductive stages in rural locations where they have limited access to state-sponsored development organizations and institutions.

Folk and alternative media, when properly handled and articulated, are, of course, a break from corporate-dominated mainstream media, and maybe utilized to reach marginalized persons and groups, who are the true stakeholders in the development of nations.

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