BELAGAVI: Want to check out what life behind bars is all about? You could, for Rs 500 a day. And without the trouble of going through a court trial. Proposing ‘A day in the life of a prisoner’ as a tourism concept, Belagavi’s Hindalga Central Prison authorities have come up with a novel initiative where commoners will be allowed to live a prisoner’s life for 24 hours, for a fee of Rs 500. They are now awaiting the government’s nod to implement the initiative.
Jail officials say the visitors will be treated just like other prisoners -- starting from the wake-up call at dawn to the day’s routine. The high point of this day out will be dressing up in the prison uniform, getting a qaidi number, sharing cells, eating the same food and joining the inmates in their daily chores like gardening, cooking and cleaning the premises.
“Jail guards will wake up the visitors at 5am, after which they have to clean their cell before having morning tea. Breakfast is served after an hour. At 11am, the visitors have rice and sambhar for lunch... the next meal is at 7pm. Once or twice a week, the prisoners are served non-vegetarian food. If the visitors join the inmates on weekends, they will also get a chance to relish special food,’’ jail sources said.
After the chores are done, the visitors will have to collect mattresses and sleep on the floor alongside the others. To make it more authentic, they may also be locked inside a cell.
These jail tourists could even run into some dreaded criminals. The list includes 29 inmates facing capital punishment, including associates of forest brigand Veerappan charged with mass killing, members of the notorious Dandupalya gang, and serial killer and rapist Umesh Reddy. The idea behind the move is to make people aware of the life of inmates, and to hopefully, prevent people from committing crimes.