21 May 2019

Sagarmatha FM

Radio Sagarmatha was established in 1997 as the first independent community radio in entire South Asia. On air from 5 am to 11 pm every day from its studio in Lalitpur, it has evolved as a truly independent and highly credible community radio of Nepal. Radio Sagarmatha had got the license following nearly half a decade of struggle, with as many as 17 conditions which must be adhered to. The conditions included that Radio Sagarmatha cannot broadcast news and current affair programs while also refraining from taking up economic agenda. The permit was issued allowing broadcast time of two hours a day using 100 watt transmitter. Another condition was that government officials would vet the issues which would form the program.


But Radio Sagarmatha soon started talking the language of the people by breaking the monopoly of government-owned radio going back to 50 years. It started its mission by giving voice to the people by respecting the right of the people to information while also giving them voice so that they too can come up with their views on issues of public concern. However it was not a joy ride for Radio Sagarmatha since it had to face a number of obstacles and hardship coming to it from both democratic and regressive regimes. But it came out successful in both expanding its mandate and area of work. Said conversely, Radio Sagarmatha is itself a social campaign and saga of continual struggle.