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This jailhouse rocks

Designer clothes, shoes and dance — prisoners have never had it this good.

fashion and trends Updated: Feb 16, 2010 02:19 IST

A fashion show and workshop by designer Sanjana Jon, a shoe designing workshop by designer label Swati Modo and a dance evening and workshop by choreographer Shiamak Davar — no, this is not the line up for a fashion week finale.

All this is happening at Tihar jail. Although activities to keep inmates busy has always been a norm for Tihar, celebrities joining the fun has upped the prison’s cool quotient.

Everyone’s welcome “I did not see any reason why the joy of dance should not be shared with Tihar jail inmates,” says Davar, who held a dance workshop there on February 10-12. Though Davar couldn’t attend the event, his team of instructors had a “great time, despite initial inhibitions”.

Says Bharat Gupta, a trainer, “As we entered, they all started clapping, which made us feel comfortable.” A hundred and six inmates took lessons in a fusion of jazz, contemporary and modern dance.

Designer Sanjana Jon, who, along with singer Shibani Kashyap, boxer Akhil Kumar and Indian women’s hockey team captain Mamta Kharab, walked the ramp wearing outfits created by inmates, had an “overwhelming experience”. “Tihar is a role model for the entire world. The inmates want to contribute something to the society,” says Jon.

Busy-ness time
The next time you see the uber chic shoes by designer label Swati Modo, they may just be handmade by Tihar inmates. The jail has tied-up with shoe designer Swati Mehrotra for a three-month course in shoe designing.

“They will help me with my export lines,” says Mehrotra. Sunil Gupta, spokesperson and law officer at Tihar, said, “Prisoners will earn a livelihood, and according to their conduct, their imprisonment time may also be reduced by 25 per cent.”