A prison in Sangareddy, India, offers a curious service: for a small payment, you can live as a prisoner for a day. Without the need to commit any crime.
The initiative was launched by the department that oversees prisons in the Telangana district. The cost of the stay is 500 rupees (about 7 euros), and gives the opportunity to try for a day what it means to be a prisoner. ” People live around like a prisoner, from soap made in prison, convict’s uniform, the night guard who comes to check if everything is fine, everything is real” , he told reporters a representative of the department .
It is not clear if the aim of the initiative is to be educational or tourist, but it must be said that, if there is a lot of curiosity about the initiative, very few have actually booked the cell.
To limit the “active participation” perhaps the rigidity and realism of the experience: the “visitors” in fact must follow the whole routine of a day in prison. This includes waking up at 5 in the morning with cell cleaning, tea at 6:30, breakfast at 7:30, lunch between 10:30 and 11:00 (rice and sambar), and dinner at 17:00 (made from rice, curd and curry). At 18:00 the prisoners are closed again in the cells, until the next morning.
The prison where you can ask to be hosted is now in disuse: opened in 1796, it stopped hosting “real” prisoners in 2012, after the opening of a more modern complex, and has been transformed into a museum that wants to illustrate the life behind bars.