Ragini Sung By Hisar Jail Inmates Released on Janmashtami

Three inmates from Central Jail, Hisar are in the limelight.  They are today’s stars. A ragini sung and composed by them, on the theme of prison radio, has been released today. Banti Singh, Satyavaan and Bhajan Singh, have been a part of ‘Haryana Jail Radio’, an initiative conceived by Dr. Vartika Nanda’s Tinka Tinka Foundation that attempts to revolutionize India’s prisons with an emphasis on art and creativity. Ragini is a form of Haryanvi folk music.

New light, renewed hope

All the three inmates-turned-singers have been in the prison for a long time. Banti Singh, the youngest of the three, at the age of 29, has been lodged in the Hisar Central Jail since 2013. Bhajan Singh, 52, and Satyavaan, 37, have been imprisoned since 2015 and 2018 respectively.  All three of them are convicts. This is the first time their voice has been given a mass audience, as they tie their melodies to the tune of folk music that is to be broadcast on radio for a greater cause – of hope and reform. The main words of the song are – खुशी वेले गीत मुण्डा गौण लगया, रेडियो जॉकी तै मुण्डा छौण लगया (radio jockey has started singing songs of happiness, he is getting recognition through the jail radio.)

Musical experiments in prison

This musical experiment is a part of Jail Radio being introduced in Haryana Jails. The Haryana Jail Radio is conceptualized by the Founder of Tinka Tinka Foundation, Dr. Vartika Nanda who has selected and trained the inmates. There are a total of 19 jails in Haryana, out of which the work of bringing radio in 7 has already been completed in Phase I and Phase II.  These three are among the 47 inmates selected as radio jockeys.

Appreciation pours in

The release of this unique ragini has brought in a wave of appreciation. Jail Superintendent Shri Deepak Sharma and Deputy Superintendent Shri Varun Kumar applauded the talent exhibited by the three inmates. Dr. Vartika Nanda, who has conceptualised Prison Radio Podcasts on YouTube, was also jubilant on the occasion and assure of several more radio productions by next month.

The ragini is released on all major streaming platforms, including YouTube and Spotify, and across all Prison Radio Stations in Haryana to ensure that the verve of inspiration emanating from this piece spreads far and wide, encouraging other inmates to hone their creative talents. Tinka Tinka Prison Radio podcasts the only podcast in India that are dedicated solely to prison reforms.

Accomplishments and accolades

Tinka Tinka Foundation has also encouraged several other inmates across India to demonstrate their talent through prison radio.  Earlier Tinka Tinka Foundation has released the song of Sheru, an inmate of Central Jail Ambala, which was liked, shared and commented on by Union Health Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan on his various social media platforms last month. A song on Corona sung by inmate-turned-RJ Jitendra of District Jail, Rohtak, was also shared by Dr. Harsh Vardhan. A song sung and composed by RJ Kashish of Panipat Jail was released on Nelson Mandela Day. Tinka Tinka also facilitated 10 inmates of District Jail, Karnal, to release the prison’s theme song. On the occasion of Independence Day, Tinka Tinka released the 25th episode of its podcast with a special episode on Baghpat Jail Radio.

The purpose

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. These prison radios broadcast programmes for an hour every day, through specially designed studios.

Phases of Prison Radio: The backdrop

Prison radio in Haryana has been introduced in three phases- first phase covered three jails – District Jail Panipat, District Jail Faridabad and Central Jail Ambala.

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.

State’s first Jail Radio was inaugurated at Panipat by Shri Ranjit Singh, Jail Minister, Haryana. Hisar Jail Radio was inaugurated on 29th April, 2021 by Shri Rajiv Arora IAS, Additional Chief Secretary (Home & Jail) and Shri K Selvaraj, IPS (Retd), Director General of Prisons, Haryana.

About Tinka Tinka Foundation

Haryana Jail Radio is the brainchild of Dr. Vartika Nanda, founder of Tinka Tinka Foundation. Dr.  Nanda heads the Department of Journalism at Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi. Previously, the Foundation had started Jail Radio in District Jail, Agra in 2019.  The growth of prison radios in Haryana are part of an ongoing study on the Tinka Tinka Model of Prison Reforms. They have created an umbrella with the tagline- Creating rainbows in prisons.

Tinka Tinka Prison Reforms Episode 26:

 Janmashtami, Ragini and Central Jail 1, Hisar: 


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