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For BS, jail is like Big Boss house
Any discussion on prisoners in a sympathetic manner evokes a sharp response: "Why should you worry about these people? They are dangerous criminals, murderers and rapists, why complain if they are ill treated? They deserve it."
In the popular mind, prisoners are dangerous criminals and hence deserve no mercy. But there are certain under-trails, who directly or indirectly involved in misappropriation or violation of rules etcetera, who have different category than the criminals.

I recollect that during my four decades service career, the life of field staff, especially who are custodian of stocks, is always risky and they could be behind the bars at any time despite the fact that they may not be willing to do hanky-panky but has to do it with one or the other reason, directly or indirectly.

I do remember when I was a student we were taken to the central jail to see the furniture factory in the jail premises. A stamp was fixed on my arm which has to be shown while coming out of the jail premises. The same procedure is still adopted when the technology has so advanced to keep a digital record of any person to identify at any time.

About few months back, one of my colleague, happened to be under-trial prisoner and I, as an active NGO, got a chance to meet him in the jail when a service camp was organized inside the jail premises for inmates. Since the premises were under CCTV surveillance I told the jail authorities about my under-trial colleague who was known to me because of my continuously three visits in the medical and dental check up camps and also to meet the children of ladies inmates residing with them.

Who are the people in jails? Are they dangerous criminals, a threat to society? Our investigations establish that a majority are either under-trials or those picked up for other reasons.

If you are poor and have once landed in jail for whatever reason or no reason the probability of you being back in jail off and on is fairly high. This is the impression I gathered from my talk with some of the under-trials in inmates in the jail.

The life behind bars raises many questions in one's mind like, what are the conditions in jails? What is the effect of confinement on the human psyche, away from friends and relatives, persistently nagged by fears? Caught in his own complexes, with no one to console him, how does a prisoner live through his years in jail?

Ordinary prisoners convicted or under-trials had a different story to tell but in the eyes of law, they are culprit and have to face the music of law as per the circumstances put forth at the time of trial of the case.

Despite these improvements we are always reminded that we are in jail at the total control of others. There are still the loud echoing sounds of the clank of iron doors. There are the monotone gray and beige bare surroundings. There is a total aloneness of enforced solitude.

When I last met my colleague inside the jail premises, he said, "For me jail is like a house of Big-Boss. For the first two-three days, one has a feeling of loneliness but after that one has to reconcile with the situation. Here I am free to talk, discuss and say anything with my inmates like that in Big Boss house. I will too be out after the expiry of 90 days when normally the bail is granted except in murder or to hard core criminals, which I am not".

He however, added with a smiling face and soft tone like the religious 'Babas', "My entry in the central jail which has to be extended on presenting me before the magistrate after every 14 days, which is now called "Sudhar Ghar" (Reform House) has changed my vision towards life and working style when once I will be out". 

My dear Dido, "I would be totally reformed when I come out after a couple of weeks and I will not be that "BS" which you met about two decades back".

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