On Thursday, February 11, designer Sanjana Jon will be presenting a unique gala at Tihar Jail. Some of the products made by the inmates like handicrafts, art and hand-painted wraps, will be showcased by noted sports personalities including Olympian boxers Akhil Kumar and Vijender Singh, former Indian hockey captain Mamta Karab, and singer Shibani Kashyap. Though this event will be for the inmates only, the products showcased will be retailed at Aamouage, a luxury store in Delhi’s Defence Colony.
Branded as ‘TJ’s For SJ’ the exclusive designer line, Jon hopes, will then find its way around the country. She admits she is already in talks with some city stores and hopes to make Mumbai her next shop stop.
Jon, whose brother, designer Anand Jon, has been sentenced to 59 years of jail for sexual misconduct by an American court, has been campaigning vociferously to prove his innocence.
“My personal problems made me reach out to the inmates of Tihar. I believe that everyone should be given a chance to contribute to society in a constructive way,” explains Jon, who has been working on the project since last October.
Early this year, she started collaborating with the various units in Tihar on a day-to-day basis and was amazed at the positivity and artistry within the walls of the jail, from which was born Thursday’s gala, Creative Tihar.
Iconic boxer Akhil Kumar who will be walking the unique ramp, says that his association with Tihar dates back to his childhood days. His father, Sribhagwan, was a warden in the jail and he would often drop by and sample some of the eats made by the inmates there that he pronounces as excellent.
“I’ve gone for sports meets there after I took up boxing. Tihar is familiar territory for me, more so since I became DCP, Haryana Police,” he points out. Which was why when he heard about Jon’s endeavour through some common friends, he immediately agreed to be a part of the charity event.
Minutes of happiness
Kashyap is equally upbeat about the venture that, she says, will give the inmates their “five minutes of normal life, happiness and exposure”. She points out that just because circumstances have cut them off from society, there is no reason why the talent within the walls of Tihar should not be allowed to blossom.
Kashyap, who has walked with her niece at one of Jon’s earlier shows, will be doing the ramp walk again for her friend, in outfits created by Tihar inmates and will even sing a song on the occasion.
The show flags off at 1 pm, Thursday, and will continue till 5 pm.