TO REFORM prisoners by removing the negativity attached with their cells, the Model Jail of Burail has decided to replace the barracks with kuteer (cottage) and name them after freedom fighters, brave women and saints. O P Mishra, IG (Prisons), Burail Jail, says, “Burail jail will be the first in the country, which will not have barracks for the inmates. The inmates will be in kuteer now. The idea has been conceived to give a positive look to the jail, and remove the negativity regarding the jail cells. There are a total of 17 barracks in Burail jail — 16 male and one female barrack.”
“Prison has also been a place where brave men and women, including freedom fighters of the country, stayed during their struggle, and they utilised their stay in a positive manner. Therefore, to motivate the jail inmates, it was thought the nomenclature of barracks should be changed,” says Mishra.
According to an official, the male barracks will be named after Guru Nanak Dev, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad, Sri Aurobindo Ghose and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel while the female barracks will be named after Rani Lakshmibai, Neerja Bhanot, Rani Gaidinliu and Annie Besant.
Special care was taken to select the freedom fighters, saints and brave women, who have their names scripted in the history of the country. A book and jail connection was found to many of them. For example, Mahatma Gandhi wrote a book, “My Experiments With the Truth”, while he was in jail. Jawharlal Nehru wrote “The Discovery of India” while he was imprisoned. Similarly, the other freedom fighters contributed to the nation while being in jail.
However, Neerja Bhanot’s name was chosen for her brave act and her connection to Chandigarh, says AIG (Jail) Virat.
A brief history and great deeds of these legends will be highlighted outside each kuteer, with their painted pictures, to motivate the inmates. The text will be in English and Hindi. Punjabi is under consideration. “We have contacted the Arts College of Chandigarh to paint their pictures outside kuteers,” Mishra says.
Apart from the barracks, the children’s room at the jail (for below 6-year children) will be named after Luv and Kush, the sons of Lord Rama and Sita. The jail library will be named Rabindranath Tagore Pustkalya, the gym will be called Bheem Vyayamshala, food eating hall will be Guru Nanak Dev Langar and the anganwadi kitchen will be named as Mira Rasoi.
Mishra says that the proposal has been approved. “After the work is completed, we may get the kuteers inaugurated by the kin of the Chandigarh- based freedom fighters,” he says. ‘