Not many would describe Tihar Jail as a university campus but this is precisely how World Cup bronze medal winning boxers Akhil Kumar and Jitender Kumar felt when they visited one of Asia's biggest prisons today as part of Tihar's Winter Olympics.
"It was not something new for me. My father was a jail warden and I have seen a jail before but being in Tihar was an altogether different experience. It didn't seem like being in a jail... I felt as though I was at a university hostel," Akhil said.
"We saw a volleyball match and it felt nice to be part of an initiative that would help these inmates become better persons," he said.
Jitender, who played for 10 minutes for the losing team, felt the same and said, "They didn't look like criminals. University lag rahi thi (it looked like a university campus). It was slightly uncomfortable being here initially but overall it turned out to be a good experience."
Akhil even addressed the inmates, who he said, asked him to win a gold medal the next time he represented India at an international tournament.
"The prisoners were well aware of who we are and some of them said I should get a gold medal in the next tournament I compete in," he laughed.