India's oldest jail gets its own Radio

The oldest jail in India, Agra District Jail, now owns a radio station. This jail radio station will be the voice of inmates as they themselves will be preparing the programmes as well as broadcasting them. The jail radio is set to operate every day for an hour, between 3 pm to 4 pm.

This radio project is the brainchild of prison reformer Dr Vartika Nanda, the founder of Tinka Tinka Movement. She will be the one to initially train inmates in radio programming and presentation. The jail radio has been named 'Agra Jail Radio'.

The Senior Superintendent of Police, Agra, Babloo Kumar, was the chief guest at the inauguration and was extremely pleased to hear about the new initiative. He said, "This is something new for Uttar Pradesh prisons, and should be emulated in all the prisons of the state."

Tuhina, who is an MBA from IIM, Bangalore will be the radio jockey representing the women's section of the jail. The men's section will be represented by Uday, who is an MA in Philosophy.

After a successful first broadcast Uday said, "It was an enriching experience. My fellow inmates were also very excited to have one of their own radio stations and share their stories over the radio." After Tuhina mentioned it to her mother and father, they were thrilled. "When I told them that we had our first broadcast, they were very happy that I have become a part of this creative project."

According to Dr Nanda, "This initiative is part of a larger project dealing with the research on Indian prisons with reference to Uttar Pradesh. District Jail, Agra has been picked specially for this project and will see more initiatives related to the communication needs of the inmates, in the near future."

The Superintendent of District Jail, Agra, Dr Shashikant Mishra, shared that the implementation of the jail radio project promises to be a novel undertaking.

Interestingly, this radio will also see active engagement of children living with their mothers in jail.

District Jail Agra, the oldest prison in India, was built in 1741 A.D., during the time of the 12th Mughal Emperor Mohammed Shah Gazi. A small room near the second main gate of this jail is now the site of a new chapter in the history of this jail.

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