Mumbai: Taloja Jail inmates enjoy emotional day with their children
In a rare move, Taloja Jail authorities decide to get inmates to meet their children outside prison environment to help forge bond; sources say initiative to be held once every six months
In a rare gesture, Taloja Jail extended 12 inmates the opportunity to meet their children inside the jail premises yesterday. While authorities usually don’t encourage kids to meet parents or relatives serving time in prison, jail superintendent Sadanand Gaikwad felt that there was a need to create a platform, for the benefit of the children.
Prisoners seen enjoying breakfast with their kids in a hall within the Taloja Jail premises yesterday
"Often, kids are not aware that their fathers or mothers are behind bars. They also end up missing them a lot. We decided to allot a day, where the prisoners could meet up with their kids, and engage with them freely," said Gaikwad.
To begin with, the staff informed the 270-odd inmates about the initiative. Around 12 to 14 of them came forward. "After this, we got in touch with their family and scheduled a date for the meeting as per their convenience," added Gaikwad.
The meeting was held for an hour from 11am to 12pm in a hall within the premises, where breakfast was provided for everyone. "We also informed the staff against interfering," the superintendent said.
Rupesh Belekar, 39, who is serving imprisonment in a chain snatching case, was among the many inmates, who got to meet his four children.
"Mummy told me that my papa works as an electrician and that he would return home soon. We took a holiday from school to meet him. He promised to bring me chocolates, biscuits and toys," Belekar’s nine-year-old daughter said.
Rupesh’s wife, who accompanied her kids, said it was an emotional moment for her too. "I didn’t tell my kids that their father was arrested. This is a good initiative. Even if for a brief while, we felt like a family again," she added.
Saheer (name changed), a Class VII student, who lives in Raigad, said that it was the first time that he had seen his father. "My father is a busy man. He does vakalatnama for inmates, so he has never been able to come home," the boy said innocently. "But, he promised to return home soon, and even bring me a cycle," he added.
Sources said that the jail authorities plan to organise the programme once every six months.
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe
Maharashtra Elections 2019: Pankaja Munde and Dhananjay Munde battle it out for Parli