A Women’s Prison Where Dreams Don't Die In Dingy Cells

In a country like India, education is a vital opportunity that takes pride in initiating some of the biggest reforms in society. Along with social and economic mobility, learning can encourage people to churn out the best from their personalities, bringing out the ‘better person’ that everyone wants to be. But as much as this applies to the general population, those who are incarcerated behind the walls of jails are entitled to it in the same manner. Taking a step forward in the direction, the Byculla women’s prison will be turning the page of norms and let their undertrials work and earn for a better livelihood. Thus, becoming the first jail in Maharashtra to support this must-needed reform. 

In this fast-paced era of business and technology, every single opportunity to earn in turning skill-based. Keeping in mind the development culture of prisoners, the jail authorities have decided to help them earn jobs by letting them gain experience from working in factories during their stay. Located inside the federal facilities, they will produce goods like night-gowns in the factories which will be shipped to middle-eastern and African countries. 

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“Though they are undertrials, we want to equip the women with employment skills so that they can easily integrate into the society after they are released. Training will be provided to them. Also, we will help them get jobs after their release,” says Rajvardhan Sinha, inspector-general of police to TOI. 

“Each woman will have to stitch 10 gowns a day and will be paid Rs 55. If she does more than this, there will be an additional pay,” said Aruna Mugutrao, superintendent of Byculla jail. “Also, for every woman Rs 55 per day, which will be deposited in her account, Rs 15 will be contributed towards prisoners’ welfare fund account.” 

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The Byculla jail currently holds more than 420 women 25 children who are being processed for their charges. In this case, learning is not only an effective way to reduce crime rate but also chalks them up a better future, impact the overall scenario of the country. “There are many women whose relatives don’t turn up to pay bail for them. Some don’t have even Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 to pay and are languishing in jails. This scheme will help them save money and pay for their bails,” said a source.

In the first step towards this initiative, they are planning to install 30 sewing machines for the prisoners where they can produce clothing and other goods. 

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