Mumbai: Fashion show, cultural extravaganza and much more. Female inmates of Pune’s Yerwada Central Jail recently lit up the prison with mesmerising performance to celebrate Womens’ Day. The theme: ‘Enjoy and Celebrate’.
“Every woman in this world celebrates international women’s day. So we thought why should our women prisoners be left behind? They have every right to enjoy and celebrate. It was intended to encourage female inmates to overcome the negativity of their past lives,” said Swati Sathe, the Deputy Inspector-General of Prisons. “For the first time women prisoners of Yerwada Jail participated in a fashion show. They walked the ramp, they performed street plays and Ganpati Vandan, danced and sang songs,” he added. Several NGOs sponsored the programme.
“Around 25 women prisoners and their kids participated in the programme arranged on International Women’s Day. And the audience were our staff members, their wives and prison officials,” Sathe told Free Press Journal.
Many of the performers have been booked for serious offences like murder, but there were pick-pockets and petty thieves too. “The fashion show was the great attraction. It was sponsored by an NGO that arranged the costumes. They even trained the inmates how to walk the ramp. Some of the money, of course, came from Prisoners Welfare Fund,” Sathe said.
“Such activities create a positive environment in the prison. It also energises the inmates. The prisoners spent days rehearsing for the shows. They enjoyed every moment,” said Sathe adding, “The gatherings also help to build their self-confidence.” Yerwada jail authorities often organise programmes for the inmates. “Last month tabla maestro Zakir Hussain mesmerised our prisoners,” Sathe said.