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Arthur Road jail home to designers, artists and writers

The idea of a jail-term brings to mind a life of dreary monotony in the confinement of a prison cell. Little Yadav reports.

mumbai Updated: Sep 06, 2011 00:52 IST
Little Yadav

The idea of a jail-term brings to mind a life of dreary monotony in the confinement of a prison cell. However, at the Arthur Road jail, some inmates have have given vent to their creativity by painting, writing songs and books and even designing clothes.

Ajay Singh, 23, an undertial in a murder case, spent four years in prison reading novels before he decided to try his hand at writing himself. He has written at least three books on life inside prisons.

Singh, who used to be a drummer in a local band, has also penned a few songs, in the hope that he can use them when he rejoins the band.

Mihir Raj, 25, who was charged with murder, took to fashion designing in his spare time. In his three years at the jail, he has designed more than 350 saree patterns.

Sanket Kumar, 24, who has been in jail for the past 18 months, has taken to drawing and his expertise has left jail authorities stunned.

“He has made paintings of Lord Krishna, Santa Claus, and a portrait of a woman among various others. His work is fabulous,” said Rajendra Dhamne, jail superintendent.

There are more than 300 inmates in the jail who use their free time for such creative activities.

Surinder Kumar, inspector general (prisons) said, “We are encouraging the inmates to pursue their dreams and explore another dimension of themselves, so that when they are released they are not tempted to go back to criminal activities.” Kumar added, “We will also hold auctions of some of their work to further support and encourage their activities.”

*Names changed to protect identity