Blog: Jail Diary

Blogger: Vibha Rani
World is not cruel only for women, children or animals. It is equally injustice towards sole power center, that is Male members of our society. "Mera Wajood" is a thought, governed on the basis of day to day comments, made by our near and dear ones. It raises a question whether male fraternity has emotions and are there people to understand them? Watch, share and opine. You may share your own experience also as I believe that it happens in everyone's life. Are you agree with me? Then dont waste your time. Just translate your feelings into words and send me in my comment box or mail me on gonujha.jha@gmail.com  ... Read more
clicks 247 View   Vote 0 Like   12:19pm 17 Jul 2014 #
Blogger: Vibha Rani
The big crowed, which had entered like a storm, suddenly got disappeared within no time. But, some of them stayed back. They were asked whether they would like to be here. They nodded. Now, the crowd was of around thirty odd people. Subodh asked jail personnel, “Can we start now?”As I said earlier, it was a huge open hall. Approximately five to six hundred people can sit at a time. Up to human waist height, walls of hall were cemented. After that the entire hall was covered with iron grill up to ceiling. Sunlight was coming in the hall. My theatre instinct told me, how good this hall would be, if it would have been a covered hall. Later on, I express my thought to Mr. Dhamne. He laughed-... Read more
clicks 276 View   Vote 0 Like   9:05am 2 Jul 2014 #India
Blogger: Vibha Rani
 Finally, Mr. Dhamne, gave a nod to one of his officers- “Take them and please ensure the arrangements.”He very politely said “Yes Sir” to him and then turned to our side to proceed for the venue. We all stood, wished Mr Dhamne and left his cabin. Now, it was time to go inside the actual premise. I was told to make the entry of my all group members. First I was told that everyone will make his/her entry in register individually. Later on, I was advised that I can only write the names of my group members and sign at one place. I did the same. Now, we were asked to deposit our money bags. Mobiles were already deposited before entering in the cabin of Mr. Dhamne. Everyone was hesit... Read more
clicks 267 View   Vote 0 Like   10:03am 28 Jun 2014 #Jail Diary
Blogger: Vibha Rani
We discussed in detail with Subodh, who had agreed to conduct workshop for the inmates at   Thane Central Jail. He was equally exited like me. We discussed on- “How many people will go there? How interestingly will we conduct workshop? What time we will go? How will we go?” Jail superintendant had warned us that big gathering should be avoided. I was also in favor of the same. Finally we decided that Subodh, me, Vidha and her friend Ali Akbar Mehta, who was also the then student of JJ School of Art, Mumbai and a very good aspiring artist, will go together. Ali has a very strong background of art from his family. His grandfather Tyab Mehta, is a world class renowned artist. Subo... Read more
clicks 270 View   Vote 0 Like   9:50am 25 Jun 2014 #avitoko
Blogger: Vibha Rani
After declaration of result, we all took a deep breath. Subodh, once again asked for tea. We all were smiling. Everyone got engaged in chit-chatting along with hot tea. But, I was restless in excitement. My mind was tingling. Thoughts were traveling from one corner to another. One side, I was very happy with this competition’s  result. It was assuring me that I was right in my belief that talent is beyond the barricade of age, race, cat, creed etc. After all, a four year old child had competed with a 45 years old competitor and won the first prize! A jail inmate has won the coveted Judge’s special award! I am not wrong! I said in my mind. Every work brings some more challenges. You ... Read more
clicks 251 View   Vote 0 Like   5:57am 21 Jun 2014 #avitoko
Blogger: Vibha Rani
A big “Q” was before me. Who would be the best persons to judge these entries? It was necessary to understand the concept of the competition by them, otherwise again the same questions of age, state, genders etc will arrive. A big list was there carrying big names. I had chosen two names- Mr. Subodh Poddar and Ms. Sarita Chauhan. Subodh was a creative Director with a leading Advertisement Company. He is a very good artist, not in the field of painting, but he had learnt Odishi dance to create his own genre “Dance Scapes”, where dancers dance and he paints the Bhavas and Mudras of dancers. It’s an experience to see it. I was one of the luckiest to see his heart stealing program... Read more
clicks 254 View   Vote 0 Like   11:43am 18 Jun 2014 #avitoko
Blogger: Vibha Rani
Every year, we at AVITOKO, were conducting an art competition on national level in open category. This year, we did an experiment and kept this competition away from age or gender criteria. The moment, we declared this competition, resistant came from all corners. Everyone was furious. They were throwing N number of questions- “Why is this open category?” “Do you think that a 4 year child will compete with a 40 year old matured, grown up artist?” “Why it is not only for Maharashtra?” “Who will participate in such type of bohemian competition, where no age, gender, state demarcation has been given?” “You are a woman. Why didn’t you keep this competition for women only?” ... Read more
clicks 268 View   Vote 0 Like   3:45am 15 Jun 2014 #Jail Diary
Blogger: Vibha Rani
Next day, I reached jail as per my schedule. I entered inside the jail and got mesmerized! God! Is some VIP coming on a visit? Full ground, lawn and open area was full of pomp and show. Cleaning derive was in full swing. Pool of water was logged here and there. Some inmates were watering the plants, some were sweeping the lawn, some were trimming the plants and some were washing the ground. I asked women constable. She simply said- “Aj Sunday hai na!”After crossing the open area, I entered into female barrack. There also was the same scenario. Smell of various kinds of soap, detergent, hair oil were travelling in the atmosphere. Mother inmates were bathing their children and cleaning the... Read more
clicks 268 View   Vote 0 Like   7:05am 11 Jun 2014 #Jail Diary
Blogger: Vibha Rani
I was very happy. One of my dreams was becoming true- working with a great numbers of jail inmates with a large perspective. It was not a first occasion, where I was organising any program for any jail. After getting a moral boost up from Kiran Bedi, I had started interaction with jail authorities and after completing all required formalities, I had started conducting programs for jail inmates. Before Thane Central Jail, I had conducted couple of programs with women inmates of Byculla jail.My very first program for the women inmates of Byculla jail was a real experience for me. After completing all relevant procedure by jail authority, I had been given a program for the last week of March, 2... Read more
clicks 290 View   Vote 0 Like   7:37am 7 Jun 2014 #avitoko
Blogger: Vibha Rani
Security guard had permitted me and now I was in jail premise. It was a huge premise with full of greenery to its left hand side. Long trees were there. Two or three vans were parked under the trees. Right hand side, there was a bungalow. Later on I came to know that this is for Superintendent. In the middle of the premise, there was a circle, covered with red bricks and white lime powder, for national flag. I raised my neck. Tricolor flag was hoisted there. And in front of me, jail building! Jail building was looking like a fort. In one corner, it was written, “In memory of freedom fighter.” No doubt, the entire campus was neat and clean and was quite impressive.I went near the huge gat... Read more
clicks 309 View   Vote 0 Like   1:22am 31 May 2014 #inmates
Blogger: Vibha Rani
Meeting Superintendent any day! But for me, any day means Saturday only. Saturday is my off day. Thane is too far from my residence. I was just thinking about the Day. In the meantime, I met one person. I really had forgotten his name. So sad! For our convenience, I will just call him Mohit. So Mohit met me at Prithvi Cafe at Prithvi Theatre, Juhu, Mumbai, where we both had gone to see some play. It was day time, so must be some children play. While sipping our coffee, we introduced each other and started talking. I came to know that he is working for Tata and his factory is at Thane.  But at that point, there was no picture for going Thane Central Jail. He said that he has interest in ... Read more
clicks 285 View   Vote 0 Like   12:56pm 29 May 2014 #Jail Diary
Blogger: Vibha Rani
When Result of Art competition was declared and a convicted prisoner was declared as one of the winners, I informed jail authority of Thane Central Jail. I had received the number along with the entry. I dialed it. A Hawaldar type of person had received my call. I narrated the purpose of calling there. He connected me to the jailer.  I discussed that how can we reward him? Will you bring it to our place, where AVITOKO is going to celebrate its annual function? I was not apprehensive, but 100% sure that they will not allow an inmate to come out to receive the award.Then? Shall we go? A asked. The Jailer of Thane Central Jail Mr. Karnik said, "For this, you will have to talk to our Superi... Read more
clicks 266 View   Vote 0 Like   9:42am 28 May 2014 #avitoko
Blogger: Vibha Rani
Theatre for Oppressed: It was year ending of 2009, when I approached Thane Central Jail with the request to conduct a 2 weeks theatre workshops with convicted prisoners. It was a tough task. No one is normally allowed to mingle with the inmates for a long period. Seeing me and the credentials of AVITOKO, Mr. Yogesh Desai, the Superintendent of Thane Central Jail had granted permission. I spoke to some of my theatre friends to conduct this workshop, but in spite of giving all assurances, they moved back at eleventh hour. Now? Either I would cancel the program or conduct by my own. I had chosen later one believing in Tagore's line-"Jodi tor dak sune keo naa ashe, tobe ekla chole re!" (Mov... Read more
clicks 282 View   Vote 0 Like   2:36am 24 May 2014 #Augusto Boal
Blogger: Vibha Rani
There are some opinions on the press by well wishers. Here are some of the excerpts. Animesh Sen and others on the article of Harsh Kabra, Published in Outlook. We are waiting for your valuable comments and opinions. ART...captive..?Posted 11/4/2005 @ 4:23 AM Candid VisionArt...?... as dictionary says, is a product of human creativity. But, what uses of these products remain unless fellow humans have their faith or strictures bestowed upon them. Art is anything but an austere activity in which one resigns himself from the rest of the world and pours his creativity over a piece of paper or out of some instrument. Art is a form of human evolution and hence subject to social asse... Read more
clicks 290 View   Vote 0 Like   9:31am 20 May 2014 #common views
Blogger: Vibha Rani
Its one more report, published by Indian Express, long back. Soon AVITOKO will bring its fresh activities for jail inmates and other 'special' people of our society. By the time, go through it and opine. Remember, your opinions value for the their betterment and creativity.   No bars Held By Indian Express Monday August 7, 04:49 AMThrough her theatre workshops, Vibha Rani gets jail inmates to put on a new act. I have been in jail for over three years now, but the past two days were the happiest ever. I always wanted to do theatre and Avitoko gave me that opportunity. Now I am planning to pursue it as a career, once I am out," says Ramnath Helkar (name changed), an inmate of Ar... Read more
clicks 303 View   Vote 0 Like   12:47pm 16 May 2014 #Art
Blogger: Vibha Rani
"AVITOKO" HAD ORGANISED A "KAVI SAMMELAN" IN KALYAN JAIL IN 2005. HARSH KABRA HAD FEATURED THIS EFFORT FOR 'OUTLOOK'. THE SAME IS HERE FOR YOUR VIEWS.MAKING A DIFFERENCEThe Poet In His Private PrisonLifers penning and reciting verse: that's just one way solutions to special needs can be truly creativeHARSH KABRAhttp://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?229161Mumbai's Kalyan jail is an unlikely venue for a kavi sammelan. Even unlikelier is the sight of Mumbai's noted poets like Akshay Jain and Yagya Sharma sharing the stage with poets serving life sentences. At the sammelan, eight prisoners, including five women, pour their hearts out in verse. Ramesh Bhoir and Praveen Bharucha rue the few mom... Read more
clicks 277 View   Vote 0 Like   8:51am 13 May 2014 #inmates
Blogger: Vibha Rani
Bollywood Actor Deepal Shaw had actively participated AVITOKO programs. She visited Byculla jail to celebrate her birthday with the kids of women jail inmates. She went to Yervada jail, Pune, where AVITOKO had organised an All Women Kavi Sammelan. Deepal had recited her poems along with others. A Times of India Report is placed below. You might have seen her in the film "A Wednesday", where she played the role of media reporter.  Printed fromThe Times of India -Breaking news, views. reviews, cricket from across IndiaDeepal 'Baby Doll' Shaw meets jail inmates28 Mar 2006, 0936 hrs IST,IANSSMS NEWS toMUMBAI: Deepal Shaw, nicknamed 'Baby Doll' after her sizzling video Kabhi aar kabhi paar ,... Read more
clicks 291 View   Vote 0 Like   1:47pm 12 May 2014 #avitoko
Blogger: Vibha Rani
AVITOKO conducts creative activities for jail inmates of Mumbai and Pune. Though this is an old report, but it is important for us to know that people, who are behind the bars, not only need such type of creative activity, but they also participate creatively. Courtesy: DNA, MumbaiNo verses barred in Kalyan jailBhargavi KerurSaturday, October 08, 2005 23:56 ISTSaturday was an eventful day for the inmates of the Kalyan district jail as some of them with a poetic streak were given a chance to present their skills at a kavi sammelan held in the premises.At the sammelan, eight undertrials took centre-stage and recited their creations. Ironically, they were penned in dark, dingy quarter... Read more
clicks 275 View   Vote 0 Like   11:39pm 10 May 2014 #duty
Blogger: Vibha Rani
I requested Ms. Sarita Chauhan and Sri Subodh Poddar. Sarita is a Delhi based artist, now settled in Mumbai. She is  a self taught artist. Having several group and solo shows of her paintings at Delhi and in Mumbai, she has crossed all the barriers and established herself with knowledge and grace. Subodh is an Ad Guru and highly creative. he had invented "Dance Scape" with the jugalbandi of art and dance. In his Dance Scape, dancers dance and he sketches with minimal lines. All renowned Indian Classical dancers had participated in his such innovative concept. Recently, he had worked with the dancer of Mohanjodado and exhibited his sculpture in Mumbai. Both of them accepted my req... Read more
clicks 335 View   Vote 0 Like   11:10am 5 Jul 2012 #society
Blogger: Vibha Rani
After announcing Art Competition in open catagory, I started waiting for views,comments and of course, entries. I got very bitter remarks that how a 4 year child will stand before a 44 years old veterans? I was told, that in the name of art, you are making us fool. Some said, this will not get successful. My fingers were crossed. I was just waiting. In spite of people's comments and reactions, entries started coming from all over India. One fine day, I got a call from the Jailer of Thane Central Jail- "Madam! We had seen advertisement of your Art Competition. We have one inmate name Ramesh Owle. He is very good in art. He is a very good man too. He had participated in various programs ... Read more
clicks 315 View   Vote 0 Like   6:25am 19 Jun 2012 #jail
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