Festival Fever in Jail! Women prisoners in Odisha celebrated ‘Bata Sabitri’

News Bharati English    26-May-2017

Bhubaneshwar, May 26: Odisha government came up with various reforms to change the mindset of the woman prisoners in the state. Women prisoners of Sambalpur Nari Niketan celebrated ‘Bata Sabitri’ Festival on Thursday.

The women prisoners celebrated the festival by wearing new saree for the day. In the evening of the festival day, a proper puja was conducted by calling a pandit which was arranged by the jailers.

After the puja woman prisoners broke their fast by accepting the Prasad. "I have been celebrating this festival since last four years and am happy to be a part of it again. I am glad that such festival is celebrated in jail”, said Babita Pradhan one of the woman prisoners.

Sohani Singh, assistant jailer informed, "Women prisoners have been celebrating this festival since 1995 as it is a great festival for Hindu married women. We are also happy to organize it once a year".

With the establishment in 1994, it is spread over an acre of land in the foothills of the Circuit House Hill in the heart of the city. The Nari Bandi Niketan having only 25 inmates against its capacity of 55 is the only jail for women in the state. Out of the total inmates, thirteen are under trial prisoners (UTPs).

The jail has four wards and two cells and is built to accommodate women convicts from across the state. The woman criminals or UTPs from any district of the state are lodged in female wards of the circle jails or sub-jails of their areas concerned.

Various training is given to women prisoners in various sections so that they can earn their livelihood once they get free from punishment or complete their prison period. Training given in various sectors are tailoring, embroidery work, applique work, making cushion covers, TV screen covers, handbags and other such things.

The product made by the woman prison are sent to the government depot and also sold to the people in jail, whereas in last financial year jail authorities earned Rs. 48,938 by selling the prisoner made product.