I quote Jada Pinkett Smith, “It’s not about what you tell your children, but how you show them how to live life.”
Tinka Tinka Madhya Pradesh is the first coffee table book released by Dr Vartika Nanda, a prison reformer. It is the third book in the series of books published on life in prisons in India by the author.
Our society is biased towards inmates and treats them indifferently. Dr Nanda is trying her best by manifesting the talents of inmates in the spotlight to bring a change in the attitude of people. She is trying to brighten their lives as bright as the colours of the rainbow. It’s beau geste to bring change in their lives.
The book is dedicated to the guiltless children born, brought up and taught inside the small cubicles present inside the prisons up to the age of 6 years with their imprisoned mothers. They live a caged childhood and this makes their story unique from the other kids.
Although they are with their mothers in the prisons, just living is not enough. They also require a beam of sunshine and freedom. Due to their stay in a custodial environment, their socialisation skills are usually negatively affected. They face a host of challenges and difficulties like psychological strain. They experience feelings of loneliness and sadness. They are unaware of the concept of a home.
The book describes how their life is different from that of a normative childhood. Those children find something to hold onto and start learning from that by joining the small pieces of blocks into a bigger block. Prisons do not offer recreational opportunities for children.
A few toys, a slate, a notebook and a pencil are provided to them as stationary and a few swings in the ground to play. As a result, these children seldom have access to learning and often lack social skills living in that environment.
The book also features a few paintings of these children made with limited resources available.
Dr Vartika Nanda, founder of the Tinka Tinka Foundation, has a special view about the same. She says, “If necessary, tools to succeed are provided to these kids, they will succeed beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.”
The book has changed my own views about prisons and life behind bars. It has changed my mindset about jails. They too have hearts full of emotions and feelings. We, the privileged section of society, should be considerate about the future of these caged children. After all, they too are the future of the nation.