It was a pleasure to connect with Kenneth Edward, head programmer of FEBC/ FEBA India during our third Frequency Partners webinar in July. Thank you to all the Frequency Partners who joined live, and for everyone else who has since listened to the replay. Kenneth shared news including:
Rajasthan faces high child marriage. Almost 52% of women there between 20-25 years of age were married before 18. One third of every child bride in the world is an Indian. FEBA India’s programs target areas where poverty and illiterate is high and educate women about their rights. “These children are deprived of their right to dignity, given into relationships when they don’t know what a physical and emotional relationship is,” said Kenneth.
Haryana experiences female foeticide: “A girl child is deemed a burden, with less value. It is God who gives life to us, we are not the ones to destroy it, but we see female foeticide as many medical practitioners make money through illegal, late-term sex determination ultrasounds.” The radio programs challenge this and it is encouraging to see the drop in female foeticide.
In Harayana, Kenneth shared about listener Joti, from a low economic background with no money for education. “She listened with her mother to our programs and began deriving hope and inspiration that she could be someone who could bring change. She began earning money through tailoring, gave lessons, saved money and earnt her Masters degree. She is now an inspiration to women in her community, a role-model.”
West Bengal, where sex trafficking is high. Out of the 8132 cases actually reported in the country, 3572 were from West Bengal alone. Many women and children fall prey to traffickers as they seek work. Illiteracy also plays a major role, as they are not aware of the risks.
Kenneth shared about Mao – married at 16 in child marriage. By 18, her husband sold her into a brothel. “She had no idea what to do. The person she had trusted had betrayed her. She underwent mental trauma, visited our radio station and stayed overnight. She wanted to commit suicide. Yet she heard our program about ‘never giving up in life’ and was inspired. Our team counselled her and she got to point where she could set up a small grocery shop. She generated an income, and now leads a decent, independent life.”
God uses radio to raise up so many in India. Give thanks for a teacher who listened to the program on sex trafficking awareness. “When he heard it, he suspected it was happening in his area, as many women and children were leaving to find work and never coming back or making contact again,” said Kenneth. “He formed a group amongst other leaders. Now any child or woman who leaves to seek work has to provide all the details of the agent, who they are working with, and I.D. cards are provided. This provides greater security and safety.”