Tinka Tinka Foundation has launched Tinka Prison Research Cell with the objective to promote prison related research. This was announced today by prison reformer, academic and founder of Tinka Tinka Foundation, Dr. Vartika Nanda. The cell will carry out action-oriented research in the domain of prison reforms.


Main objectives of the cell are to encourage inmates, jail staff and scholars to engage in jail related research, institute fellowships to conduct study on prison reforms issues, help, suggest and guide prisons to inculcate some of the good practices based on research analysis, document prison literature and publish prison related research work, enrich prison libraries by making available to them the published jail research, fill communication gaps in jails and introduce the concept of jail journalism. Tinka Prison Research Cell is introducing the concept of research where both inmates and jail staff will directly become active participants of jail related research.

Covid-19 and Jail radio to be the focus of first research

Tinka Prison Research Cell has chosen four inmates, two each from two different jails of Haryana, as part of the initial research team. These inmates, two men and women, are lodged in District Jail Panipat and District Jail Karnal. Both the women inmates are life convicts.  They were given training by Tinka Tinka Foundation for being a Radio Jockey and are now associated with prison radio. They will be taught the basics of research methodology to conduct field-based research work. The first research work will involve analysing the impact of prison radio in the three jails of Haryana with special reference to Covod-19.  Research will be undertaken after formal permissions from the prison department.  

Haryana prison department has welcomed this step

While welcoming the initiative, Shri K. Selvaraj (IPS), Director General of Prisons, Haryana expressed hope that this kind of research would help in bringing improvements at the administrative level and enhance the quality of work for the prisoners’ welfare. He added that jail radio had clearly brought a lot of positive difference in the lives of inmates in these jails and this kind of research would augment it further.

Program was attended by Shri Amit Kumar, Superintendent, Karnal Jail, Shri Devi Dayal, Superintendent, Panipat Jail and Ms. Shailakshi Bhardwaj, DSP, Karnal Jail, other officers and selected jail inmates. All the four inmates explained in detail the impact of radio on them. One inmate said that she has been able to completely come out of her depression due to prison radio. Inmate from Panipat added that earlier, on an average, there used to be ten cases of depression in the jail, which has now reduced to nil.  The jail radio is the tool which has helped them deal with difficult circumstances during Covid-19.

Dr. Vartika Nanda and Tinka Tinka Foundation

Tinka Prison Research Cell has been instituted byTinka Tinka Foundation, a trust for prison reforms led by Vartika Nanda. She is the recipient of Stri Shakti Pursakar by the President of India. Her work on prison reforms has been included twice in Limca Book of Records.Her action-oriented research on prisons was taken cognizance by the Supreme Court of India in 2018. She was instrumental in starting prison radio in District Jail, Agra in 2019 and has also been the key person in bringing Prison Radio to Haryana jails. Three books, Tinka Tinka Tihar, Tinka Tinka Dasna and Tinka Tinka Madhya Pradesh, all authored by Vartika Nanda, are considered to be authentic reportage on life in Indian prisons. She currently heads the Department of Journalism in Lady Shri Ram College in Delhi University and is also engaged in action-oriented prison research using the tools of journalism.

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Categories: Social