Maharashtra’s Jail Tourism Initiative: Know what is it & what will be allowed for Yerawada Jail visitors

Maharashtra Government has launched the Jail Tourism Initiative allowing people to visit the jails of state starting from Yerawada Central Prison of Pune. Know here what will be allowed for the jail visitors.

Maharashtra’s Jail Tourism Initiative
Maharashtra’s Jail Tourism Initiative

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray launched the jail tourism initiative on January 26, 2021 on the occasion of 72nd Republic Day. This unique initiative will help the citizens, history enthusiasts and school or college students experience the "vignettes from our history".

The initiative was launched from an over 150 year-old Yerawada Central Prison of Pune which saw the imprisonment of various freedom fighters under the British rule including Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Sarojini Naidu, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Lokmanya Tilak and Subhas Chandra Bose.

As of now, the state government has launched the initiative with the Yerawada Prison only. In the subsequent phases, Thane, Ratnagiri, Nashik and Dhule jails will be added to the jail tourism initiative.

Know here the details the initiative along with what will be allowed for the jail visitors and what will be prohibited.

Importance of Yerawada Central Prison

The Yerawada Central Prison is Maharashtra's largest jail that was constructed in 1866. Presently, the jail houses around 5000 inmates and is spread over 500 acres of land.

Several freedom fighters were imprisoned at the Yerawada jail under the British rules such as Mahatma Gandhi who was jailed thrice; Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Pandit Motilal Nehru, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Sarojini Naidu and Subhash Chandra Bose.

The prison cell where Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned is now known as 'Gandhi Yard', where the Poona Pact was signed between Gandhi and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. There is a Tilak Yard where Bal Gangadhar Tilak was lodged. Both these yards do not house any inmate.

There is a Faasi Yard where Chapekar brothers got executed in 1899 for killing WC Rand, the British Plague Commissioner of Pune. The yard witnessed the execution of convict of 26/11 attacks, Ajmal Kasab in November 2012, the last execution.

Under the Maharashtra’s Jail Tourism Initiative, visitors will be allowed to take a tour of these yards.

Who will be allowed and prohibited to visit the Jail?

As of now, only school & college students and registered organisations will be allowed to visit. For this, visitors will be required to submit an application to Yerawada Prison superintendent one week prior to their visit.

Researchers who working on prison-related issues have been prohibited to visit the jail.

What will be allowed for Yerawada Jail visitors?

- Tour of the Gandhi Yard & Tilak Yard

- Tour of the faasi yard, where the death sentence is executed

- Initially, the prison authorities will allow only 50 persons to take the tour everyday due to the safety concerns amid COVID-19 pandemic.

- Visitors will be allowed entry following the strict formalities of identity verification.

- The visits will be allowed between 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm.

- An official will guide the visitors for the jail tour, accompanied by the jail guards.

- Photography & videography will be done solely by prison staff.

What will be prohibited for Yerawada Jail visitors?

- Visitors will not be permitted to carry any electronic equipment and eatables inside the jail premises.

- Visitors will not be allowed to interact with any inmate.

- People will not be allowed to tour any other part of the jail.

Is there any entry fee for Jail visit?

No, there is no entry fee as of now. However, later a nominal fee will be charged.

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