July 27, 2017: Criminals also have a life beyond the expiration of retribution period. A group of former prison inmates and undertrials have been working at Chanchalguda’s women-only petrol station since June 23. The petrol station is an initiative of the Prisons and Correctional Services of Telangana state to provide employment to as many women undertrials and former prisoners as possible.
The station also has two police constables and a sub-inspector for security purposes. The women working at the petrol pump earn Rs 12,000 a month. These women will soon have a provident fund account if things work according to the way the prison’s authorities have planned.
“Anyone who tries to mess with our women will be dealt with strongly,” enunciated Basheera Begum, the superintendent of Special Prison for Women in Chanchalguda, to the queue at Petrol station.
Basheera goes on, “What they did and why they did is a thing of past. They have served the prison sentence for it. The real reformation starts once they have been released and we are here to make it easy for them”, reports Scroll.in.
Razia Sultana (name changed) completed her prison sentence in the last year. She along with her younger brother and mother were sentenced in a dowry harassment case. She spent a total of five-and-a-half years in jail. Sultana’s husband left her at the course of the sentence. According to her, he paid too much attention to people outside.
Sultana learnt to bake, sew and weave. She also received a sewing machine from the police authorities after her release from the imprisonment.
Five women working at the petrol pump are from different districts of Telangana and are presently residing in a makeshift accommodation provided by the Department of Prisons.
Bindu (name changed), a resident of Hyderabad, was sentenced along with her son for six years each for a case of acid attack. She wanted to get a job to support her family after completing the sentence and also shift them to a larger house in a different neighbourhood. She and another inmate work at the petrol station, which is also run by the Chanchalguda prison.
Women who have served their term at prison appear comparatively more comfortable as compared to the undertrials.
– Prepared by Naina Mishra of Newsgram. Twitter @Nainamishr94