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Jail Radio in Hyderabad prison launched to entertain inmates, unearth talents

The prisons department in Telangana has started an internal radio station for prisoners as part of its rehabilitation programme to provide them entertainment and unearth their hidden talents.

india Updated: Mar 12, 2019 09:49 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
Hyderabad,Jail,prison
The prisons department in Telangana has started an internal radio station for prisoners as part of its rehabilitation programme to provide them entertainment and unearth their hidden talents. (HT photo)

The prisons department in Telangana has started an internal radio station for prisoners as part of its rehabilitation programme to provide them entertainment and unearth their hidden talents.

The department launched the FM radio facility – Jail Radio or Jail Vani – on Sunday at the Chanchalguda Central Prison in Hyderabad.

“It is like any other radio station but the programmes cannot be transmitted through normal FM radios. It is dedicated and confined to a particular prison. In a way, it is like community radio,” Chanchalguda jail’s superintendent K Arjun Rao said.

“Since most of the time, the prisoners are engaged in some work or the other, it is not possible to broadcast the programmes all through the day. We are planning to dedicate certain hours for the radio programmes, especially in the early mornings and in the evening hours,” the official said.

The station is equipped with an audio console, microphone, recorder, amplifiers, studio monitor speakers, computer panel with play-out software etc just like any other. The prisoners can listen to their favourite songs, music, anecdotes and various other programmes like a talk show with celebrities through this station.

“We are planning to engage regular trained radio jockeys to conduct programmes and entertain the inmates,” Rao said.

Authorities have installed speakers at every barrack so that the nearly 1,000 inmates in the jail can listen to the programmes when they are there.

The department is also planning to give an opportunity to interested inmates to showcase their talent by designing and conducting programmes on the radio. “In a way, a prisoner himself can become a radio jockey and conduct the programmes,” he said.

While providing entertainment and recreation to the inmates is the main objective of the radio facility, the department will also give regular information about facilities extended to them such as parole, meeting with their relatives and remission of their imprisonment period.

“We are also contemplating engaging the services of Ramakrishna Mission to preach spiritual values to prisoners every day through this FM radio facility. We hope it would bring in some kind of reform in them,” Rao said.

The department will extend the facility to women’s jail at Chanchalguda, Cherlapally central prison on the outskirts of Hyderabad and Warangal central prison.

“Depending on the response, we shall plan the same in other jails as well,” he said.

The high-security Yerwada Central Jail in Yerwada of Maharashtra’s Pune started a similar radio station in 2014, which is managed by the inmates.

First Published: Mar 12, 2019 09:46 IST