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How GramVaani’s Goonj is Enabling Community Engagement through Mobile Radio

Started in 2008-09, GramVaani (meaning voice of the village), has been building technology for community radio stations, IVR based applications and last year, launched a mobile based radio network called Goonj, which acts as a voice based social network for the bottom of the pyramid. Goonj is operating in select districts of Jharkhand state, receiving over 2000 calls a day, while GramVaani's technology is currently being used by 2 million users across 15 Indian States, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Namibia and South Africa. In the first part of our interaction with GramVaani Co-founder Aaditeshwar Seth, he talks to us about the technology that they use, listener-ship, data collection, programming on Goonj network and the kind of impact generated by the data collected. On Technology Being Built  & The Move To IVR Medianama: What does your company work on? GramVaani: We started GramVaani  4 years ago in 2008-09. The focus has always been to help the people at the bottom of the pyramid. However, the question has been to find ways to connect them to the different stakeholders that the rural masses are unable to reach out to. We started this through community radio stations. When we began, community radio stations were coming up in a big way in India. We built a low cost network to set up these community stations. The idea was that we would provide the technology for these stations managed by NGOs and other non-profit organisations. But that did not happen and the growth of community radios did not happen at…

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