By: Pavani Chandhok

Haryana’s first prison radio has completed its 3 months of transmission. Within a short span of 3 months, this radio has become an apple of eye for everyone. The radio is receiving more than 50 demands every day. Inmates eagerly wait for the time of broadcast and due to this, the broadcasting hours have been increased to two hours.  Inmates are also showing keen interest to be a part of this prison radio. 15 inmates have already approached the Superintendent to be given the opportunity to be the Radio Jockey in the Jail Radio.

Constructed in March 2019, this is the modern prison in Haryana. It has a prison population of nearly 1000 inmates. In the absence of mulakats during Covid-19, jail radio has become a major source of relief for the inmates.

Specialty of Jail Radio

This jail radio started in the month of January,2021 with 6 inmates as Radio Jockeys. This radio was launched by Shri Ranjeet Singh, Jail Minister, Haryana, Shri Rajeev Arora, IAS, ACS, Home, Jail Department, Government of Haryana, Shri K. Selvaraj, IPS, Director General of Prisons, Haryana, Dr. Vartika Nanda, Founder of Tinka Tinka Foundation and Shri Devi Dayal, Superintendent Jail.  These inmates were selected by Tinka Tinka Foundation during an audition held in December 2020. A 5 day training workshop was organised for inmates of 3 jails including District Jail Faridabad and Central Jail Ambala. Out of the 21 inmates selected for the prison radios in these 3 jails, 5 are from Panipat Jail. Kashish, Shrawan, Suresh, Sushil and Nimatullah.  Another inmate Dinesh joined them later.

Unique initiative by Tinka Jail Radio

Many such experiments have been done under this prison radio which have not been done in any  other jail. Under the Tinka Model of Prison Reforms, inmates request for their songs in writing everyday so that the practice of writing is revived.

Support of Jail Officers

According to the Superintendent of Panipat Jail Shri Devi Dayal, the jail radio has a magical impact  on the entire jail. Cases related to violence and depression have suddenly dropped and now inmates look forward to the broadcast on a regular basis. Ever since jail radio started, its transmission has not been stopped for even a single day. Inmates also get constant support from Vishal Sharma and Rajesh Kumar, both jail staff.

Support of Tinka Prison Library

Tinka Prison library was established in the month of February. It is located next to the Jail radio room. It is aimed at increasing literacy level in jail and also to provide ample material to the radio jockeys for preparing broadcasts.

Impact on inmates

Inmates have now started sharing their tales related to the prison library with their family members over the phone. Sushil’s mother Aarti says that jail radio has certainly given her son a changed identity and a meaning in life.

Special program on completion of three months

All 6 inmates organised special programs today. On this occasion, a special podcast made by Dr. Vartika Nanda was also broadcast.

Jail radios in Haryana are the brainchild of prison reformer Dr. Vartika Nanda. Three books, Tinka Tinka Tihar, Tinka Dasna and Tinka Madhya Pradesh are considered to be authentic reportage on life in prisons in India, all authored by Vartika Nanda. Currently, she heads the Department of Journalism in Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University.

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Categories: Social