e-Culture & Entertainment Winner – 2008

Unnayan TV

Unnayan TV is the first online video channel in Bangladesh which regularly publishes video contents on development, human rights, and educational as well as cultural issues of the country. The non-profit project is an alternative initiative against the commercial media giants. The Bangla word “Unnayan” stands for “Development” i.e. “Development of human life and civilization”. The Unnayan TV project is registered under the host organisation “Machizo Multimedia Organisation ” by Bangladesh Government as a trade organisation. The project makes tremendous use of multimedia and web technology to produce and publish local content online. Simple online web technology is used for video distribution. News-content is sent and published through popular mailing list, blogs and online applications.

The need to recognize grassroots and farfetched communities, their living conditions, culture and practices is very relevant for an inclusive growth and development agenda. With its efforts directed towards focusing the unreported Bangladesh, Unnayan TV is trying to create space for marginalized community, particularly the poor. There is an active involvement of young media professionals and journalists in this technology project making regular efforts to reach out to the unreached. Despite challenges equally unrelenting like lack of internet facilities, Unnayan TV is reaching out to the semi-urban and rural user communities and making efforts to provide various cultural and entertainment programmes to the farfetched and deprived viewer communities.

Producer Shahjahan Siraj
Organisation Machizo Multimedia Communication
Location Dhaka, BANGLADESH
Telephone 88- 02- 9119846
Email siraj@machizo.com
Technology/Medium Web/Internet
Language English, Bangla


Music on the Internet isn’t new. But using an Internet radio station to address development certainly is. NetBetar is the first online audio channel in Bangla for Bangla speaking audience globally. NetBetar as an Internet Radio station serves two goals-to reconnect the global Bangladeshi to their roots and give them a chance to be a part of Bangladesh’s development. The medium is very interactive. Some of the programs have “call to ask” functions where the listeners can call in and have their questions answered. Besides, the channel provides infotainment related matter that will help all kinds of audiences, whether rural or urban, to get the best out of the station. Netbetar has plans of reaching deep rural interiors with the help of its tele-centers.

Making innovative use of existing technology to address development areas is a challenging task. And this is what NetBetar is attempting to for Bangladesh. It has certainly been able to capture the untapped potential of the Internet and turn it into a tool of development where Bangladeshis placed globally can also participate. In a country where literacy rates are low, it is to be expected that contents developed for a mass audience would be mostly audio or video, therefore a bright future awaits the initiative. Also, with infotainment as a tool, it is sure to be drawing a large audience and informing them about various issues the country faces and convey developmental messages in a format that will draw and hold attention, thereby getting across ideas better. The medium is not very expensive either.

Producer Suny Md. Ashraf Khan
Organisation Netbetar
Location Dhaka, BANGLADESH
Telephone 88 01 71648484
Email info@netbetar.com
Technology/Medium Web/Internet
Language Bangla

Pyara Kerketta Foundation Tribal Community portals

The Tribal community portals developed by the Pyara Kerketta Foundation (PKF) is focused on issues related to Jharkhand tribal life, population, history, culture, politics and community efforts. The community portals like kharia.in stresses a lot on making the tribal languages and their rights protected, alive and promoted at all levels including advocacy and policy. In this  the Internet is used very effectively to popularize the culture of the tribals in Jharkhand. Through websites like Kharia.in and at least four more websites, PKF has put in content on the web in the same script as that of specific Tribal groups.

Tribal groups and aborigine communities are in danger world wide of being vanishing culturally, linguistically, economically and politically. Taking a serious note of Jharkhand in India   Pyara Kerketta Foundation is attempting hard to protect the culture, languages and rights of the tribal groups in the state.   By using digital media very effectively to achieve the same, Pyara Kerketta Foundation is doing a pioneering job in bringing the indigenous communities and their culture, ideas, practices   to the forefront. . By developing web portals exclusively for the tribal groups in Jharkhand, PKF is facilitating online  websites to discuss, advocate and popularize the issues of tribal culture at large. This way the pioneering words and deeds of the  late Pyara Kerketta,   the great educationist, social reformer, political activist and pioneer in cultural movement, is being preserved.

Producer Pyara Kerketta Foundation
Organisation Pyara Kerketta Foundation
Location Jharkhand, INDIA
Telephone 91 923467 8580
Email pyarafoundation@rediffmail.com
Technology/Medium Broadband/Online
Language English, Hindi, Khariago back to the list of winners

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