The last thing that I want for myself is to pay a visit to a JAIL. There is no denying the fact that nowadays people are finding new and innovative ways to experience adventures in their life. One such adventure now includes ‘visiting a jail’, as a tourist unlike criminals !
The real taste and joy of experiencing our History do not lie in our books but are flourishing into the air where our ancestors took their breaths and scripted our future i.e their prison cell. Robben Island in South Africa where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned is one of the finest examples.
Maharashtra Home Department has planned down to open some of its jails to common public who are eager and keen to know more about their history. The officials are currently working on their ‘Jail Tourism Policy’ which will lay down the guidelines and rules for the common people to access a certain part of jails. They are also making these policies by keeping their visitor’s safety at the top most priority.
There are more than 30 jails in Maharashtra, but only a handful of them will be opened for the visitors under this tourism policy. Only those jails which will be having the potential to attract more visitors will be the selected ones for this policy. Such jails include ‘The Yerawada Prison’ where many national leaders like Gandhi, Nehru, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Veer Sawarkar had been kept for the prison during the freedom struggle of India. The latest celebrity to join these people was Sanjay Dutt
The motivational and inspirational letters sent by these leaders to their families will be available in the jail records, which can be kept for display. However, the visits to these jails will not be a daily affair, but will only be conducted on weekly basis for only a few hours.
One of the things to watch out for other than the aura of these jails will its architecture. The architecture of these jails is based on pan-opticon design. These designs are highly advanced where a person sitting at the center of the jail can keep an eye on every nook and corner of the jail without much of an effort. Such visits can provide good opportunities for filmmakers to show the real interiors of the jails.
Even the ‘Arthur Prison’ where Pakistani Terrorist Ajmal Kasab was kept is being considered for this tourism policy which is expected to become a popular spot. Additional chief secretary Vijay Satbir Singh confirmed that the Government is indeed working on such policy, however, finer details haven’t been worked out as of now. They are even planning to open a Jail Museum which will be showcasing the personal belongings of the prisoners. An emporium will also be made so as to sell the art and crafts prepared by these prisoners.
States like Telangana have recently announced such a policy, while the cellular jails in Andaman have been a popular tourist destination for long. Even the Tihar Jail in Delhi has come out with such business ventures where the prisoners are allowed to make hard earned money by making good art and craft materials.
What are your views about this new jail tourism policy? Are you going to pay a visit ?