Jail Inmate Sheru Is Now A Star; Release Of Song On Covid-19 From Jail

Sheru, an inmate lodged in Ambala’s Central Jail, has composed a song on corona. The jail radio has given him a new identity and now he is also a lyricist and singer. This musical video has been released today by Central Jail Ambala and Tinka Tinka Foundation and is uploaded on YouTube platform. The song, written in Punjabi, revolves around creating awareness on Covid- 19. Its initial words are- Corona to bach bandya, pata nahi kadon kainoo lag jana. Muh te mask laga le toon, nahi te tu duniya to jaana.

Who is Sheru

40-year-old Sheru is serving a 10-year sentence in Central Jail Ambala. He has already completed three and a half years of imprisonment. He was selected as a Radio jockey for Jail Radio in December 2020 along with 47 inmates from jails of Haryana. Since he was more inclined towards writing and singing songs, he was given the responsibility to create a bouquet of his self-composed songs for the jail radio. Before coming to jail, Sheru had a desire to be a singer but he never got an opportunity. Jail radio has given him the platform to explore his musical talent.

About Central Jail Ambala

Central Jail Ambala is one of the oldest and historical jails in the country. Built in 1872, this jail is one of the three central jails of Haryana where Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, was hung to death in 1949. With an authorized capacity to house 1228 inmates, this jail currently has about 1250 inmates. These include 77 women. Currently 4 children are also living with their mothers in the women’s section of the jail.

Cheer in the barracks

The release of the song has been applauded by both jail authorities and inmates. While releasing this song, Jail Superintendent Shri Lakhbir Singh Brar said, “Everyday during my daily morning round, I see all the 6 inmates engrossed in the radio room engaged in their creative work related to jail radio. While the rest four are busy writing and presenting for the radio broadcasts, Sheru is generally occupied in writing songs. Release of Sheru’s song will certainly boost morale of the rest of the inmates.”

Prison reformer Dr. Vartika Nanda said “The Tinka Model of Prison Reforms encourages inmates to make maximum use of their capabilities and talents. We want to promote local culture and dialect. Sheru was given the responsibility to create songs in his mother tongue. This is our first step. We are releasing this song on Tinka Jail Radio You Tube Channel and also Spotify. Tinka Tinka is on a mission to create rainbows in prisons and this podcast is one part of it.”

The other five radio jockeys of Ambala Jail Radio and other inmates expressed great pleasure and satisfaction on the release of the song.  Audio editing of this song is done by young enthusiast Harsh Vardhan. Posters for the song are created by Anurag Kshirsagar. The song will be broadcast on all the jail radios in Haryana so that the other prisoners get motivated to come out with such creative ideas. Tinka Tinka is making an attempt to bridge gaps in jails so that the jails can positively connect with each other.

Background of jail radio

There are a total of 19 jails in Haryana. In 2020, 47 inmates were selected as radio jockeys from Haryana jails, out of which 6 are from Ambala Jail. These inmates were trained by Dr. Vartika Nanda, founder of the Tinka Tinka Foundation, through a radio workshop in December 2020. Jail radio is conceptualized by Dr. Vartika Nanda. After the completion of the training, the first jail radio of the state was inaugurated on January 16 this year by Shri Ranjit Singh Jail Minister, Haryana at Panipat. Later, radio was inaugurated in District Jail, Faridabad and Central Jail, Ambala.

Ambala Jail Radio was inaugurated on 26 February this year by Shri Rajiv Arora IAS, Additional Chief Secretary (Home and Jail) and Shri K Selvaraj, IPS, Director General of Prisons, Haryana.

The purpose of prison radio is to meet the communication needs of the inmates. During the Corona pandemic, jail radio has proved to be very helpful in giving psychological relief to inmates. Ambala Jail Radio broadcasts one hour of radio daily which operates from specially designed studio.

The second phase of bringing radio to the jails of Haryana has also been completed. These include District Jail, Karnal, District Jail, Rohtak, District Jail, Gurugram and Central Jail (I) Hisar. In the third phase, 5 jails have been selected which are District Jails Sirsa, Sonipat, Jind, Jhajjar and Yamunanagar.

Another milestone:

This song was also shared by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Health Minister, Government of India, through his twitter handle.

You Tube Link of the song:


About Dr. Vartika Nanda

Vartika Nanda is a prison reformer and Tinka Tinka is her series on Indian jails. In 2019, she started radio in District Jail, Agra, located in the oldest jail building in the country. She has been honoured with the Stree Shakti Award from the President of India in 2014. Her work on prisons has twice found a place in the Limca Book of Records. Currently, she heads the Department of Journalism in Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi. 

Contact: 9811201839/ [email protected]

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