Open gym in Delhi’s Tihar prison a hit, jailed trainers pitch in to help inmates
Tihar Jail in west Delhi is the largest and the most populated prison in India with over 14,400 inmates. Most model prisons across the world have open-air gyms for prisoners. Such a gym has now been set up in jail number 1 of Tihardelhi Updated: Sep 24, 2017 07:41 IST
Fitness is the new fad in Delhi’s Tihar Jail, the country’s largest prison. For the first time a jail inside the prison complex has started an open-air gymnasium .
The gym, which at present has around four fitness equipment, is reportedly a hit with most prisoners. When the idea was first discussed, prison officials realised that there was no dearth of doctors or fitness trainers in the jail, who could help manage the gymnasium.
The open-air gym in a park inside jail number 1 is mostly used by elderly prisoners facing problems, like obesity or arthritis. A senior prison officer said that in the coming weeks, similar gyms will be opened in two other jails. Some professional gym trainers, who are presently behind bars, have also volunteered to help other inmates.
An officer said the idea behind starting a fitness centre in jail is to enable an atmosphere suitable for rehabilitation. Most model prisons across the world have open-air gyms and prison doctors to look after the fitness of their prisoners. Many elderly prisoners had also requested that apart from their yoga sessions, a gymnasium would help them take up physiotherapy. In Delhi, open gyms in public parks and grounds were started by civic agencies in 2014.
“We installed fitness equipment that would help prisoners take care of their physiological needs,” a senior jail officer said.
“Because the gymnasium is a hit, jail officials have assigned time tables for all prisoners to use the gym, so that everyone gets a chance. We did not even have to hire anyone from outside. Some jailed trainers are now teaching the younger inmates, who are now interested to make a career as a fitness trainer,” said a senior jail official.
Officials said that prisoners are allowed to visit the open-air gym either in the morning or evening hours. Before the facility was started, Tihar’s prisoners started their day with yoga and physical training classes. Though, many interested prisoners took walks or played games inside the prison, there were no fitness training equipment.
Tihar prison is the largest and the most populated prison in India. There are over 14,400 prisoners lodged at the jail.