Tinka Tinka India Awards: 16 Jail Inmates And 2 Jail Officers Awarded

By Pavani Chandhok

  • Theme for this year was Telephones in Jails
  • 2 inmates chosen for Tinka Tinka Bandini Awards
  • 25-year-old was the youngest and 64-year-old was the oldest recipient
  • Awards were released by Arvind Kumar (IPS), DG, Madhya Pradesh Prisons & Correctional Services
  • Jury consisted of Sudhir Yadav, IPS (Retd.) and former DG, Delhi Prisons, Arun Kumar Gupta, IPS (Retd.), former DG, West Bengal Prisons and Dr. Vartika Nanda, Founder, Tinka Tinka

Tinka Tinka Awards India 2021 were announced on the eve of Human Rights Day. This was the 7th year of celebration of exclusive awards for inmates and staff. These exclusive awards were founded by India’s prison reformer Vartika Nanda. There were 3 categories this year, namely Painting, Special Mention and Prison Administration. 7 inmates were chosen for awards in the Painting category whereas 2 were selected for their special contribution to prison life. 2 awards were also given to prison staff.

In the Painting Category, Manish Babubhai Parmar (46) lodged in Central Jail Ahmedabad and Shiv Mohan Singh (64) lodged in District Jail, Raebareli shared the first prize. Ravishankar serving imprisonment in Central Jail, Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh and Tauqeer Hasan Khan (53) lodged in Central Jail, Thane in Maharashtra jointly won the second prize. Prabhu (42) detained in Central Jail, Central Jail, Coimbatore bagged the third prize.

Consolation prizes for Painting were conferred to 7 inmates. 35-year old Shatruhan and Ramesh Patel (30) both lodged in Central Jail, Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh got consolation prize. Both have spent more than 10 years in jail. Syed Ather Ali (43) from Central Jail, Bhopal and Rupendra Mishra (36) from Central Jail, Satna, both incarcerated in Madhya Pradesh were also chosen for consolation prizes.  Uttam Anand (44) from District Jail, Karnal, Haryana, Jitendra Mevalal Maurya (35) from Lajpore Central Jail, Surat, Gujarat and Manish (26) from Central Jail No 8 & 9, Tihar Delhi were the other award winners.

Tinka Tinka Award Ceremony at Central Jail, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India

Contribution of 2 inmates were recognised in the Special Mention category. 37-year-old Ashish Kapilbhai Nanda from District Jail, Rajpipla, Gujarat was chosen for his extraordinary work in helping inmates to make telephone calls, arranging databases and registers. He is serving life imprisonment and has spent 15 years in jail. 53-year-old Rajnish Mohanlal Thakur lodged in Central Jail, Nashik, Maharashtra manages telephone calls in the jail. During the pandemic, more than 1700 inmates in his prison were allowed to make calls. Entire data and computer programmes were devised and managed by him. He also offered services as one of the two Para Legal Volunteers (PLV). He helped jail staff and the Legal Aid Authority to ensure that all inmates become aware of their legal rights.

This year two inmates got special recognition in the form of Tinka Tinka Bandini Awards. 39-year-old Sonia Chaudhary from District Jail, Karnal, Haryana had done extraordinary work in  running the jail radio, contributing in the research and literature on jail radio and telephone through Tinka Prison Research Cell, bringing colours to jail.  She has brought cheer to the jail through her work. She has spent more than 20 years in prison. Her death sentence was converted to life imprisonment till death in 2004.

The other award winner, 25-year-old Palak Puranik, is under detention in District Jail, Indore, Madhya Pradesh since January 2019.  As no paramedic staff was available for women inmates, she took up the responsibility to serve them as nurse/ compounder.  As she had the prior knowledge of nursing, she was a tremendous help for other women inmates in the last 2 years, especially during Covid-19.

Two Jail officials had been chosen for their special contribution to jail administration. Jai Kishan Chhillar (57) Superintendent, District Jail Faridabad was honoured  for his significant work in bringing literacy in jail, PICS/Telephone system, starting jail radio and also encouraging inmates to study through IGNOU.

53-year-old Ashok Shivram Karkar, Jailr Grade-1 from Nashik Road Central Prison, Maharashtra also received this recognition for his important contribution to the jail department. He volunteered to stay in the jail continuously for three months in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19 among inmates. During his long career, he successfully managed the detention of high risk prisoners such as underworld criminals like Abu Salem, Arun Gavali, and Chota Rajan and terrorists like Yaqub Menon, Ajmal Kasab and members of Dawood Company.

The programme was a mix of online and offline mode.

Background: Tinka Tinka Foundation has curated two national awards exclusively for prisons, Tinka Tinka India Awards and Tinka Tinka Bandini Awards. These are the only awards that are solely dedicated to inmates and jail staff. Started in 2015, this is the 7th year of celebrating creativity in jails, through these awards. Every year, a prison-related subject is chosen as the main theme. In 2019, the theme was ‘Radio in Jails,’ and in 2020, the chosen theme was ‘Covid-19 and Prisons’.  More than 110 inmates and 37 jail staff have received Tinka Tinka India Awards between 2015 to 2020. Given to inmates and jail staff, these awards have achieved a higher level of credibility in the national landscape.

About Vartika Nanda: Dr. Vartika Nanda is a prison reformer and media educator. She has initiated a movement on prison reforms in India under the banner, Tinka Tinka.  President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, conferred the Stree Shakti Puraskar on her in 2014. Her work on prisons was taken cognizance by the Supreme Court of India in 2018.  Her name has also been included in the Limca Book of Records twice for her unique work on prison reforms. Her recent research on the “Study of the condition of women inmates and their children in Indian Prisons and their communication needs with special reference to Uttar Pradesh” has been evaluated as ‘outstanding’ by ICSSR. Currently, she heads the Department of Journalism, Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University.

In 2020, awards were released by K. Selvaraj (IPS) DG, Haryana Prisons, Ajay Kashyap (IPS) Former DG, Tihar Prisons, Anand Kumar DGP and IG Prisons, Uttar Pradesh.

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