Mumbai: Arthur Road Jail creates gym on campus for some inmates

Updated: Dec 11, 2018, 12:14 IST | Diwakar Sharma | Mumbai

Arthur Road Jail creates gym on campus with help from NGO for some inmates; officials say it is this is a first for the state

The gym is open to inmates who are not accused of serious crimes or whose sentence is for less than five years
The gym is open to inmates who are not accused of serious crimes or whose sentence is for less than five years

The only exercise that Arthur Road Jail inmates get is twiddling their thumbs before court appearances. Now, however, they can get much more than that at the new gymnasium on the premises. While prison officials provided the space, a private trust has donated the equipment.

Prison officials told mid-day that it is for the first time in Maharashtra that a gymnasium has been opened for inmates in a jail, so they can better their mental and physical health. But the space is out of bounds for habitual offenders or hardened criminals, said a prison official. "The gym facility is given to inmates who are not accused of serious crimes or whose sentence is for less than five years. We don't allow inmates who have been imprisoned for murder, attempt to murder, cheating, MCOCA, etc," he said.

The exercise equipment has been provided by Kerkar Charitable Trust. "We have installed fitness machines which are non-detachable. We will maintain them annually and provide accessories free of cost for 10 years," said Kunal Kerkar, chairperson of the Trust.

Superintendent of Arthur Road Jail, Harshad Ahirrao, said five batches of 20 inmates each work out at the gym and are very happy with the equipment. "They are allowed to work out for an hour a day. The gym is opened for prisoners between 7am and noon and from 3pm to 5.30 pm. Physical exercise helps them fight depression," said Ahirrao, adding that staff monitor the behaviour of inmates at the gym.

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