Pop out Pink city

Jailbirds build Aashayein

Written by Aditya Tiwari

Rajasthan has been always in the forefront of jail reforms and rehabilitation of convicts. The concept of open jail was ushered in way back in 1963. The then Governor of Rajasthan, Sampurnanad, inspired by V. Shantaram’s  Hindi film Ek Do Aankhen Barah Haath began this experiment, which has become so successful that today Rajasthan has 13 open jails with more than 500 inmates and many other Indian states have followed its example.

Handicrafts, rugs, and decorative items made by inmates on display.

Taking a step further towards rehabilitation of convicts, the Jaipur Central Jail on Agra Road has opened a departmental store where handicrafts and paintings made by inmates are sold to make them self-reliant and join the mainstream.

Famous Bangladeshi fashion designer Bibi Russell during a visit to Aashayein: The Jail Shop.

Aashayein: The Jail Shop is gaining popularity among art connoisseurs, tourists and city residents.

“Aashayein: The Jail Shop”,  an initiative Director-General of Prisons Ajit Singh, was launched in January this year where a select group of inmates was trained to further hone their skills.

For many of the prisoners the term “rigorous imprisonment” has taken a new meaning they are rigorously trained to create artworks, rugs, bed sheets, furniture and edible products like pickles.

The proceeds from the sale of products go towards the Prisoners’ Welfare Fund for the purchase of more raw material.

 

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Aditya Tiwari

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