People Are Paying to Get into This Indian Jail and Live Like a Prisoner for a Day

The colonial-era District Central Jail in Sangareddy, India, is giving people the chance to live like an inmate for a day, in exchange for a small fee.

“Feel the Jail” is an innovative initiative created by the the Prisons Department of Telangana district that allows people to experience the feeling of being under detention for a period of 24 hours. During their stay, voluntary inmates are provided with prison uniforms, steel meal plate and glass, soap as well as other facilities according to the prison manual, and are expected to follow the day-to-day routines of regular prisoners, including spending time in their cells and eating prison food.

Although there is no official work schedule for visiting inmates, they have to earn their keep during their stay, so when they are allowed to leave their grated cells, they are required to clean the barracks and plant saplings.

Photo: video screengrab

According to Deputy SP M Lakshmi Narasimha, those willing to spend 500 Indian rupees ($7.50) for the one day jail stay get to feel what it’s really like to be a ‘khaidi’ (inmate). “A person will experience everything like a real prisoner; starting from a soap which is made in the jail and a khaidi prisoner’s uniform to a night duty officer’s visit to check on the prisoner, everything is real,” he told the Indian Express.

As per the Indian jail manual, prisoners will be woken up at 5 am by two guards and after cleaning his cell and ablutions, they will be taken out into the inner courtyard. At 6:30, they are given tea, and at 7:30 a breakfast of idli is served. Lunch is served between 10:30 and 11 am and consists of a jail meal of rice, dal and sambhar, while dinner is at 5 pm (curry, rice, and curd). Inmates are locked into their cells at 6 pm and are only released again the next morning.  To make sure nothing bad happens and that the visiting inmates don’t get too scared in the old colonial prison at night, a night duty officer will drop in to check in regularly.

While some might find the idea of living as an actual inmate for a day intriguing, Indians don’t seem to anxious to jump at the opportunity, according to Deputy Narasimha. “We have received calls from people from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and today one call from Mumbai but so far no one has booked the cell. Maybe they are curious but find it intimidating. Anyone who wants to avail this should intimate us a day in advance so that we can make the arrangements,” he told the Express.

Maybe it’s the idea of losing contact with outside world completely, as no phones or visits are allowed during your stay, or maybe it’s the dilapidated state of the 220-year-old prison that’s keeping people away, but it definitely sounds like an interesting of promoting tourism.


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