Shubhranshu Choudhary comes to 2010 MediaRDV

[Montréal, Québec, Canada 23°C] Participants at the 2010 Citizen Media Rendez-Vous are lucky that Shubhranshu Choudhary is spending 3 months in San Francisco this summer because it allowed us to invite him to be a panelist. He is from the Indian region of Chhattisgarh where tribal languages flourish. Poverty is high despite the abundance of minerals in the region and so is illiteracy.

Shubhranshu will come to Montréal to share his perspective based on his experience establishing a citizen journalism initiative that allows remote communities (7 million people) to use CGNet Swara, a cell phone platform inform each other in their own tribal dialects.

Shubhranshu said in an AlertNet interview, “People just have to call up and they can hear news in four different languages – Gondi, Kurruk, Chhattisgarhi and Hindi. It’s helped to bridge the information gap for tribals who are on the other side of the digital divide.” The project, started in February 2010 now receives about 50 calls a day, some to record audio messages and news, while others to listen to the reports left by others from their remote region. All messages are verified by Shubhranshu and the project’s volunteers by others on the ground before translating the messages and reinserting them into the system.

Shubhranshu is bringing a communication revolution to Chhattisgarh where more than 50% of the communities do not have electricity. He is coming to Montréal’s Citizen Media Rendez-Vous on August 23. Are you?

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