The Dabba Radio Update: What’s Next?

If you have read the Dabba Radio Story, then you know where we’ve come from... but where are we going? 

Since January 2011, we have been running a pilot of Dabba Radio on a little over Rs. 2 lakh that we raised from friends and supporters of the Dabba Radio vision.  Most people volunteered their time and expertise to help us test drive this idea.  Our goal during this pilot?  To see whether we could find the right people to help us create quality radio.  Our survey of India’s current media scene showed us that crores and crores of rupees cannot necessarily buy you great content - whether that content is read, watched, or listened to - there is that human element, eye for quality, and journalistic integrity that cannot be bought.  Since quality does not depend on how much cash you have, we figured that this was the best variable to test on a shoestring budget.

We are thrilled with the results of the pilot but we are even more excited about what lies ahead.  We have assembled our content below and ask you to judge for yourself.  If you like what you see and hear then help us continue.  Dabba Radio is looking to raise money to expand its operations.  We have exciting plans for the year ahead but we need your help to get there.

How to help?  Show us that you support our work.  Follow us on Twitter.  Like us on Facebook.  Tell your friends to visit our website and listen for themselves.  It’s time for a change in the menu of media options: from “fast food” media to gourmet.


Forest Dwellers March on Mumbai

Adivasis walked for 15 days to come to Mumbai and present their case to the Chief Minister.  They claim that their rights under the 2006 Forest Rights Act are being violated.


Cycle sharing program takes off in Mumbai College

Cycle Chalao! creates bicycle sharing networks to provide bicycles on rent for short distance traveling. Their vision is to 'Integrate cycling into mainstream public transportation, thereby reducing traffic, air and noise pollution'.


The Forgotten Diaspora

Pashington Obeng is a professor at Wesleyan College and Harvard University who has extensively studied the history of Africans in India. We ask him about the African diaspora in India, how they fit in with the rest of India, and what Indians think about President Obama’s blackness.


Philanthropy in India?

In May 2009, David Rockefeller hosted an elite dinner in Manhattan.  It was attended by some of the wealthiest people in America and philanthropy was the topic of discussion.  Two of the top five richest people, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, have pledged most of their money to charity.  But what about the two Indians on that list?


Students Learn About Tsunami From TFI

Teach for India (TFI) is a program that puts highly qualified college grads into under-resourced schools in India for a two year fellowship.  Dabba Radio visits Worli Seaface School to see the fellows in action.


An Exercise in Laughter

In 1995, Dr. Madan Kataria and his wife Madhuri founded Laughter Yoga and since then it has grown to thousands of clubs in over 60 countries.  Hear them describe the typical laughter yoga “workout.”


The Dabba Radio Story

Dabba Radio is a movement - a movement to create a new type of media... There are thousands of untold stories happening everyday and we want to be the storytellers.

“The Dabba Radio Dish”

Our newsletter updates you on Dabba Radio developments, including news on our shows and the people making them.  Subscribe here.

Issue 1: March 2011

Issue 2: April 2011

Issue 3: May 2011


Taxi drivers get their stories heard

Kabi has started “Meter Down,” a blog that chronicles the untold stories of Mumbai’s taxi drivers.  The blog won the “Best Podcast” award in 2008 from the Indian Weblog Awards. 


Think Indian youth don’t have a voice?  That was yesterday.  Bridging The Gap is written, hosted, and produced by people ages 14-17 and covers issues relevant to them, from pop culture to politics and corruption.  Below is the first episode, but click the BTG logo to see the dozens of other pieces these talented youth have put together.

Episode 1:  (right click to download)

Slum Radio

Over half of the population of Mumbai lives in slums.  They are cities within cities, very often operating outside the view of the metropolis -whether by chance or by choice - and yet the two worlds are linked in uncountable ways.  India is not alone.  Globally, over 1 billion people live in slums.  Slum Radio looks inside “the slum” and chronicles the untold stories of the world’s bottom sixth.

        The theme of this first episode is “From Nothing to Something” and begins with a 4 minute story of reinvention by a Dharavi resident.  Next we look at slum tourism and talk with a writer about Dharavi’s modern emergence.

Episode 1:  (right click to download)

The Underground Sound

Dabba Radio’s philosophy is telling the untold stories and it seems that the alternative genres of music in India all fit that description.  Sucharita Tyagi takes us on a journey away from the FM stations and puts our fingers to the pulse of the Indian music scene.  In this first episode, we hear the music of Advaita as well as a discussion with music industry experts about the future of Hindi music.  We plan to make “The Underground Sound” the platform for showcasing the happening music subculture of the subcontinent.

Episode 1(right click to download)

The Underground Vault

In this section of The Underground Sound, Naresh Fernandes opens up the vault of India’s musical past and takes us into the archives.  In episode one, we listen to Indian marching band music.  In episode two, Naresh Fernandes takes us along for a bit of detective work and plays three tracks that all sound similar, posing the question “Who borrowed from whom?” 

Episode 1(right click to download Episode 1)

Episode 2:  (right click to download Episode 2)


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The goal of TiffinTalk is to deliver relevant discussion on a variety of topics.  Bollywood drama ebbs and flows and stock prices rise and fall, but behind these redundant media smokescreens real people are accomplishing interesting feats and many fascinating stories slip through the cracks.  Tiffin Talk delivers dialogue on political, business, and cultural happenings and breaks the fourth wall of media to engage listeners by going beyond your traditional interaction with the news.

TiffinTalk has a fairly large archive of shows.  Listen to them here.

The Sound of Money

Hosted by Santosh Sirur, an Assistant Vice President at a leading international bank, The Sound of Money looks at all things economic in India, the region, and the globe.  Santosh brings informed analysis of the latest business news as well as interesting commentary on international business, finance, and economic history and theory from leading guests.  We like the second episode the best.

Episode 1(right click to download)

Episode 2:  (right click to download)


Tattoos On the Rise

India Ink, India’s first tattoo convention, took place on the second weekend of April.  Dabba Radio correspondent Binny Paul went there to get the inside scoop on why it has taken so long for a tattoo convention to come to India, a nation that has a long history of tattoos.
India Itself

It seems that so much of the news today is mass media for mass consumption - missing the essence of what is really happening in India.  Below are samples of our version of the news.  The guiding principles for our news reporting will be in-depth coverage of important headline stories - we will go further to bring you interesting insights that the generic news brands do not deliver - and finding unique stories that the other guys miss altogether.  We filter out the noise so all you hear is the world.


Meet the Dabba Radio Team

The Resurgence of Indian Perfume

Andreas Attarwala learned perfuming from his father who learned it from his father.  Andreas wants to balance the elements of traditional Indian perfumes with experimental new scents like blood, sweat, and bread.