Odisha: Women prisoners celebrate Bata Sabitri Festival in jail

Sambalpur (Odisha) [India], May 26 : In order to change the mentality of women prisoners here, the Odisha Government has started various reforms in jail.

The women prisoners of the Sambalpur Nari Niketan celebrated Sabitri Festival by wearing new saree for the day.

By evening, a proper puja (act of worship) was organised in the presence of a pandit (arranged by the jailer), while the women prisoners also accepted prasad and broke their fast.

One of woman prisoners, Babita Pradhan told ANI, "I have been celebrating this festival since last four years and is happy to be a part of it again.

I am glad that such festival is celebrated in jail." Assistant Jailer Sohani Singh asserted that, "Women prisoners have been celebrating this festival since 1995 as it is a great festival for a Hindu married women.

We are also happy to organise it once a year". Sambalpur Nari Niketan was established in 1994 and spread over an acre of land in the foothills of the Circuit House Hill in the heart of the city, the Nari Bandi Niketan, which is the only jail for women in the state, has only 25 inmates against its capacity of 55.

Moreover, of the total inmates, thirteen are undertrial prisoners (UTPs). Built to accommodate women convicts from across the state, the jail has four wards and two cells. The women convicts and under trial prisoners of other districts are being lodged in female wards of the circle jails or sub jails of their areas concerned.

The women, accused in Maoist violence, are also not accommodated in the Nari Bandi Niketan here for security reasons as only 10 female warders are deployed here.

The jail authorities here provide vocational training to the inmates so that they can earn their livelihood after they are set free.

Instructors have also been deployed to train the inmates in tailoring, embroidery work, applique work, making cushion covers, TV screen covers, hand bags and other such things.

The products, made by the inmates, are sent to the government depot and sold to the people in jail also.

The jail authorities earned Rs. 48,938 in the last financial year by selling the items made by the inmates, said a staffer..

Source: ANI