It is a trip to jail, without the fear that the warder is going to throw away the key.

The old district jail at Sangareddy in Telangana’s Medak district has been converted and its gates opened for everyone to experience ‘prison life’, for a fee.

Those who want to ‘understand freedom’ can pay the Jails department Rs. 500 and get ‘24-hour confinement.’ Only, there has to be advance information for staff to receive such ‘inmates’.

The department’s ‘Feel the Jail’ innovation provides a behind-bars experience as real as possible, while a shorter tour of the jail museum is also on offer.

Those who want the ‘locked-up’ experience — in the women’s barracks — will be offered the usual khadi dress, shirt, shorts or trousers, bedding, steel plate, steel glass and steel mug, washing soap and toilet soap, all as laid down in the prison manual.

 The food is also as per the system, but a fan is being provided.

Those who want the locked-up experience will be offered the usual Khadi dress – shirt, shorts or trousers, bedding, steel plate, steel glass and steel mug, washing soap and toilet soap all as per the prison manual. The food is also as per the system.

Tea is offered between 6 and 6.30 a.m., followed by breakfast from 7 to 7.30, lunch from 10.30 to 11, another tea between noon and 12.30, and dinner between 4.30 and 5 p.m. While tea is locally prepared, food comes from the District Jail at Kandi. The menu is ‘chapati’ or ‘chitrannam’ for breakfast, pigeon pea with ‘rasam’, and red gram with ‘rasam’, on alternate days for lunch. Dinner is curry, ‘rasam’ and curd.

There are no workers, though, and visiting ‘inmates’ have to clean their barracks. There is no prison work involved, but they are free to plant saplings.

The jail museum was opened on June 5 by Home Minister Naini Narasimha Reddy. It was open to the public the next day with entry fee of Rs. 10 for adults and Rs. 5 for children. M. Lakshmi Narasimha, Officer, District Sub-Jails, says the ‘Feel the Jail’ offer is the first in the country. The museum visit is popular, with Rs. 4,295 collected from 550 visitors since June 6.

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