Maharashtra Government to launch jail tourism on Republic Day

The concept of "jail tourism" is being implemented by the Maharashtra Home Department for the people to witness the Indian War of Independence.

Maharashtra Government to launch jail tourism on Republic Day

The Maharashtra government has decided to start “jail tourism” in the state, beginning with Pune’s 150-year-old Yerawada jail in the first phase, from Republic Day on January 26.

The concept of jail tourism is being implemented by the Maharashtra Home Department for the people to witness the Indian War of Independence. Accordingly, on January 26, 2021, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar will inaugurate the Jail Tourism Project at Yerawada Jail.

Prisons in Maharashtra have a unique place in the history of India. The great leaders of the Indian independence movement were imprisoned by the British in Yerawada Prison as well as in other prisons like Thane, Nashik, Dhule and Ratnagiri.

Great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Lokmanya Tilak, Motilal Nehru, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Sarojini Naidu, Subhash Chandra Bose were all imprisoned by the British in the Yerawada Jail. The prisons of these great leaders have been preserved as memorials in order to commemorate the sacrifices made by these great leaders for independence from the British monarchy.

According to sources, the Home Department is launching 'Prison Tourism' for the first time with the view that schools/colleges/universities and educational establishments, as well as registered NGOs, should visit these historical places. This will enable students and academic establishments, NGO representatives to see and experience other historical events of the Indian independence movement which are traditionally not mentioned in the history books.

Moreover, the prison administration is touted to take proper care in order to ensure that security is not violated and undesirable elements are not allowed to enter the area. Also, due care will be taken in view of the pandemic. In addition, a tourist guide will be provided to accompany the tourists. However, the number of tourists visiting daily will not exceed 50. State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh further clarified that those who wish to visit Yerawada Jail as tourists will have to mention the names and basic details of the persons visiting as tourists while applying on the letterhead of their organization.

The application should be made to the Superintendent of Yerawada Jail at or or directly to the jail at least seven days in advance. The contact number of Yerawada Jail is 020-26682663 / 020-29702586. If there is any issue regarding the contact, the people wishing to visit should contact the Additional Director General of Police and Inspector General, Prisons and Correctional Services, State of Maharashtra, Pune. Moreover, visitors are required to prove their identity by presenting any of the documents such as Aadhar card, organization identity card or passport.

It should be noted that no food, luggage, mobile phones, cameras, water bottles or any other items can be taken inside the jail. The prison administration has arranged for photography as well as videography, which will be provided after release. However, the prison department reserves the right to deny entry to an undesirable person.

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