Padma Priya – Senior Program Coordinator
Padma Priya’s tryst with media began when she joined the PG Mass Communication Department of Jain University. Skeptical about radio, she chose print media; however fate had different plans for her. In October 2007, Radio Active was sanctioned the DST project titled Science for Women’s Health. As part of the project, she did a Baseline Survey, working with slum dwellers in programme production. From then on she pledged for the cause of community radio. Padma Priya is a natural leader and has a flair for ideas that capture community essence. Apart from leading the team, she is also a stickler for deadlines who will not mince words in case of failure to adhere to them. Having worked on the Right to Food Campaign- PDS and participated in the Courts of Women, she is now working on Universalization of Pension Campaign.
Vijaya – Senior Program Coordinator
Vijaya worked at Namma Dhwani before she decided to move to explore life in the city. Shy and unsure, Vijaya soon found her way when she volunteered to teach the kids of the construction workers during day time and work with the women in the evenings in making radio programmes for Radio Active. The project ‘Building Blocks’ paved the way for Vijaya to metamorphose and she now plays a lead role in program coordination and community mobilization. In 2009, she headed the PDS- Public distribution system program. As a part of program, she conducted surveys on the availability of ration cards among the residents of the J R Nagar. She has also been a part of few environmental programs. She is a recipient of the ‘Active woman award’, presented by an NGO. She launched a program ‘Kanasina Mane’ in collaboration with several NGOs which featured workshops on radio programming.
In 2009, she approached the LGBT community to work with Radio Active. Since then Radio Active has provided employment and support to many LGBT community members.
She was one of the trainers in Powrakarmika and waste pickers program, which trained over hundreds of waste pickers on segregation of dry and wet waste. She also collaborated in conducting surveys of the lands of Mavallipura and launched a program “Vyartha Bhoomi ‘, featuring stories of residents of the area. Last year, she launched a cooking show which featured recipes of food of different communities.
Usha, Project Coordinator ( Waste Management and Livelihood)
Usha, has over 20 years experience in the developmental sector. She started off working with APD in , as a “Community Health Trainer” and worked there for over 12 years. She then took a break and started off working with Radio Active to lead the Samartha Project in 2014. The project had two components mobilize waste-pickers in Bangalore- East Zone to form collectives and to assist in training over 400 waste-pickers, in addition to coordinating the production of “Kasa Shramika Parisara Rakshka”, the daily show produced by waste-pickers. In 2015, she assisted in Recycler Mapping of Nayandahalli. Also, she hosted a program which featured information and stories of and from the dry waste collection centers (DWCC) which fell under the banner of Hasiru dala.
Akkai Padmashalli – Project Manager ( Gender and Sexuality Issues)
Akkai, a male to female trans- woman and gender activists has over a decade of experience in the developmental sector.
Born a male in a middle-class family, she had to discontinue her studies, after Grade 10, due to discrimination based on gender. She took to sex work to make ends meet and in 2004 joined Sangama (an organization working on transgender rights), as a part time staff member to educate the sexual minority community members about their rights at cruising areas. She was the promoted as a community Mobilizer and was soon promoted as a Field Supervisor. During that time, she also worked on issues concerning Right to Health and Right to access Condom and other services.
In 2009, as a the Documentation officer for Sangama, she started to work on Gender, Gender based and Sexual based violence with Indian Judiciary, Legislation, Execution, Media, Civil Society Organisations, working class gender and sexual minorities etc. In 2012, Akkai was invited by the President of India to attend the Swearing in Ceremony of the Hon’ble Chief Justice Shri Altamas Kabir, Supreme Court of India, and was invited His Excellency Governor of Kerala to attend the swearing in ceremony of the Hon’ble Chief Justice Smt Manjula Chellur of the Kerala High Courtand in the same year she became the first male Transgender in Karnataka to complete her Sex Reassignment Surgery counselling process in NIMHANS and underwent a Sex Change Surgery.
She was also part of the discussion on rape law, at the Justice Verma Committee constituted for the Nirbhaya Gang rape case. In 2013, she joined Radio Active CR 90.4 MHz, a community radio station, licensed to Jain University to head the project “Out of Shadows”. The project was aimed at Strengthening Advocacy Activities for Gender, Sexual Minorities & Sex Workers. Following a year of field work, in 2014, she co-founded Ondede (which mean convergence in Kannada), to link the different movements like Child Rights, Women’s Rights and Sexual Minorities Rights through areas of dialogue, research and action on dignity-voice – sexuality with the dream of pursuing her vision for a gender just world. Ondede at present is supported by Radio Active and will soon be registered as an independent entity. In 2015, she became the first transgender to be awarded the Karnataka Rajotsva Award.
In her free time, Akkai practices singing and has recorded Lakshmi stuti- Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma ( a Kannada prayer dedicated to the goddess Lakshmi ) for the album- Songs of Caravan and for the popular show Jeeva Diary – Rethinking Perspectives: Queer Issues, Views and Stories” on the life of Uma on Radio Active
Lakshmi Karunakaran , Consultant (Children and Arts Based Program, Social Media Strategy and Training)
Lakshmi is an art based educator and communication professional based in Bangalore, India. She graduated from Visvesvaraya Technological University and started her career as a telecom engineer. Soon she shifted gears to work first as a communication specialist and later as an educator. Lakshmi worked at Infosys Ltd, as an audio/visual content writer, presenter and producer for InfyTV, India’s first corporate TV channel. She later worked with other IT companies, Oracle Corporation and Sapient Technologies as a communication specialist.
In 2013, when she decided to move to the social sector and work with children, Lakshmi relocated to Kolar Gold Fields. She lived and worked with over 100 children from government run primary schools, for more than a year. This inspired her to use art as a medium of education and she now works with Government schools in urban/rural areas, and in alternate and remedial schools with a diverse population of children and educators. Currently, Lakshmi produces radio programs on children and education.
Marwan Abubaker , Consultant (Waste Management and Animal Welfare Project)
A farmer, a foodie, an animal lover and environmentalist, Marwan Abubaker has over twelve years of experience across agriculture, fish farming and community services. Following a brief stint with the corporate sector, Marwan found his true calling in the developmental sector. He and his siblings set up The Golden Husk, an NGO working in Kanakpura on Animal Welfare & Environment Issues.
In 2009, he joined Radio Active- a community radio station to head the Community based projects for the station. He has co-founded multiple projects at the Radio station, such as: Stray Pals – A project on Street Dog Management & Welfare in Bangalore and Waste Management Initiatives – A project on decentralized waste management initiatives in Bangalore. An active member of the Solid Waste Management Roundtable (SWMRT) in Bangalore, that works to promote decentralized waste management in the city, he took up the initiate to pilot the first Dry Waste Collection Center in HSR Layout in 2011. This pilot project, helped establish the case for the need for Neighbourhood Dry Waste Collection Centers.
Following the pilot, in 2012 he assisted with waste-picker mobilization, by mentoring a team of four to register waste-pickers, networking with the officials and holding regular meetings with the waste-pickers. He also has conducted over 200 awareness programs on the importance of waste management in the city, and was an invited speaker at several important local and national events. In 2011, he was part of the core team that organized the Bengaluru Recycling Habba in Bangalore, in addition to conceptualization the Recyclathon Awards along with his colleague. The Recyclathon Awards is designed to acknowledge individual/institutions practicing waste management .He has, also co-authored a paper on “A Working Observation on SWM Policy- Karnataka State and ULB Bangalore”
In December 2013, he was invited to Port Blair by the Andaman Nicobar Environmental Trust (ANET), to assist with implementation of municipal solid waste management in the city. During his time there he worked on collecting and analyzing current operations, identification of stakeholders, identification of policy and technology options, and survey of informal waste workers, to strategize on long term options for the city. He also provided training for the municipal staff and on-ground workers, worked on awareness events, besides networking with the municipality and other government bodies.
In May 2014, he joined Hasiru Dala trust as Director-Operations, and is responsible for the overall management and business development, of the Total Waste Management Services and has also co-authored a paper on the Informal Waste Workers Contribution in Bangalore”, to determine their economic contribution to the city.
On 1st November 2015, he co- founded Hasiru Dalal Innovations Private Limited and the first contract to the company was the wedding of the transport minister’s Mr. Ramalinga Reddy’s daughters wedding in Bangalore Palace, which managed the foot fall of more than 18000 guests! He is also working on setting up a sustainable waste management system in Kote, Udupi, expanding operations to Mysore and a photo documentation of the recyclers of Nayandahalli, Bangalore.
In his free time, he feeds street dogs and rescues injured animals, or provides counseling to people having issues with dogs. He co-founded an initiative called “Stray Pals” in 2010, which works on street dog adoptions, policy advocacy, issues on street animals with the municipality, in addition to training, sensitization and handling cruelty cases.
Ramya – Station Manager
Ramya has over nine years of experience in the community radio sector. Having started her career has a Radio Jockey in 2007, she has progressed to be the Station Manager at Radio Active- Bangalore’s first community radio station.
At the station, she is involved in documentation of the station’s activities, designing communication materials. A shy person who always had a way with designs, she found her voice with Radio Active. From then on, she hasn’t looked back … Once scared of using the electrical switch board, she has overcome her fear of electronics and nowlooks after the technical set-up of the station. Ramya co-assisted in the production of the Active women series in 2008 which has nominated for the Radio Duniya Awards 2008.
As an important component of the station’s activity is outreach programme, she and her colleague spearheaded the RTE campaign which involved creating awareness on RTE in the slums, meeting with parents. Ramya was also a representative member of the RTE Task Force from the station. The activities of the Task Force included production of radio programmes, creating awareness, policy advocacy and documentation
As part of the Task Force she also had the opportunity to work on the design and documentation of the India Literacy Project on the implementation of the RTE task force chapters in Gulburga and Chikballapura.
She has also worked on other projects like assisting students from Jain University on the National Entrepreneurship Network’s E -week event in 2010 on the Aerobic Rice Plantation in Kolar.
Ramya volunteerd to work on the Radio Mathematics project awarded to the station by the Department of Science and technology, Ministry of Science and technology, Government of India as the Principal Investigator. This project involves production of 180 episodes of radio series and conducting outreach activities.
In 2014, when One World Foundation invited applications for Community Radio Facilitation Centre’s internship program, Ramya applied and was selected for a four day seminar that focused on Community Radio licensing procedures and steps involved. Following the program she was certified to assist potential applicants.
An excellent graphic designer, Ramya nurses the passion of training women in business skills, and was engaged with the Right To Education Campaign. Ramya has also participated in the Baseline and Capacity Building workshop for the Planet Earth project at MOP, Chennai.
Ramya is a LEAD fellow selected for 17th batch of Leadership Building Cohort program around the central theme ‘Leadership for Mainstreaming Conservation & Climate change Adaptation in Development planning and practices’ with Lead India.