A Telangana jail museum’s offer to give a feel of the jail as a ‘prisoner’ for a day to tourists has curious people calling from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka but has no takers so far. The Sangareddy District Central Jail in Medak district, 70 kms from Hyderabad, which was built by the Nizams in 1796 has been converted into a museum in June this year. The novel ‘Feel The Jail’ idea was floated by Deputy SP of the Sangaredy District Central Jail, M Lakshmi Narasimha who is also in-charge of the jail museum. “It is a historic jail; more than 200 years old heritage building and we thought that the museum can be promoted among tourists with such an offer,’’ Deputy SP M Lakshmi Narasimha said.
“We floated this idea in the second week of August. One cell in the women’s barracks in the museum jail has been spruced up. This cell is being offered to tourists if they want to spend a day in a prison and get the feel of being a `khaidi’. The fee is Rs 500 for a 24-hour jail feeling. A person will experience everything like a real prisoner; starting from a soap which is made in the jail to a khadi prisoners uniform to night duty officer’s visit to check on the prisoner, everything is real,’’ the Deputy SP said.
As per jail rules and manual, the guest ‘prisoner’ will be woken up at 5 am by two guards and after cleaning his cell and ablutions, he will be taken out into the court yard. At 6:30, tea is given. At 7:30 a breakfast of idli is given. Between 10:30 and 11 am, a jail meal of rice, dal and sambhar while dinner consisting of a curry, rice, and curd is given at 5 pm. During the day time, the prisoner will be told to do some cleaning and maybe asked to plant some saplings. After that the `prisoner’ will be locked up at 6 pm. The food will come from the new jail’s kitchen which is nearby. An aluminum plate, a prison-made washing soap, and a bare mattress are the other luxuries provided to the inmate.
“As the 200 year-old jail and museum is a very old building, it is a bit scary. So two of our guards will be present in the guard’s room to give company to the ‘prisoner’. Just like in the main jail, a night duty officer will drop in to check in,’’ Deputy SP Narasimha said.
“We have received calls from people from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and today one call from Mumbai but so far no one has booked the cell. Maybe they are curious but find it intimidating. Anyone who wants to avail this should intimate us a day in advance so that we can make the arrangements,’’ he said.
The Sangareddy District Central jail was constructed during the Prime Ministership of Salar Jung-I in 1796 during Hyderabad Nizam rule. The new jail on the outskirts of Sangareddy was opened in 2012 and all prisoners were moved there. After renovation of the nine barracks, watch tower and solitary confinement cell completed by 18 real prisoners, the old jail was converted into a museum.