Prisoners

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Why is the Bridge of Sighs so Called?

Why is the Bridge of Sighs so Called?

The Bridge of Sighs (Ponte de Sospiri), is in Venice, Italy, and connects the inquisitor’s room in the east side of the Doge’s palace with the state’s prison or prigioni over the Rio de Palazzo. Work on the Doge’s palace (residence of the Duke) or Palazzo Ducale was begun in the 14th century and got its present shape only by the 16th century. The palace was not only the Doge’s residence and thus contained the inquisitor’s (judge) office, it also housed many other institutions like lawyers offices, the Chancellery, Naval Offices, etc....

Marriage in Prison

Marriage in Prison

July 15: He was a prisoner in Model Jail in Lucknow and she was the warden of the jail. The fell in love. And got married. Sounds like a filmi story? It happened in real life. And the story just goes on to show that prisoners are human beings too. And wardens are not villains who keep prisoners under lock and key. The warden, Ranjana, met the prisoner, Santosh, three years ago in Lucknow jail....

Rats

Rats

Excerpts from ‘Rats’. First published by Vigyan Prasar, India Now at this time there was a great plague of rats in the London Docks. They were specially fierce rats, whose ancestors had come on steamers from Hong Kong along with tea and ginger and silk and rice. These rats ate all sorts of food which are brought to London in ships because we cannot grow enough food in England to feed all the people here. They are wheat from Canada and cheese from Holland, and mutton from New Zealand and beef from Argentina....

Shakespeare in Prison

Shakespeare in Prison

October 6 : Hulagappa Kattimane directs plays written by the world-famous English playwright, William Shakespeare. Macbeth and Hamlet are two plays that he staged recently in the South Indian cities of Bellary and Mysore. Both were astounding successes. There’s nothing unusual in any of this except for one thing – his actors are all prison inmates. Hulagappa is on a mission to reform criminals and help them cope with their sentences by introducing them to Shakespeare and the art of theatre....

Tattoos that Talk

Tattoos that Talk

Where: St. Petersbug, RUssia May 19, 2001: For more than 50 years Danzig Baldayev had been studying a unique mode of communication amongst the Russian prisoners. When he was a prison guard he discovered that the tattoo on each prisoner’s body had a message for the other inmates. A burning cross meant the prisoner wanted revenge, a pirate with a knife between his teeth showed that the person was a sadist or one who likes to hurt others and a tattoo of the Soviet founder, Vladimir Lenin, was like a charm against execution....

Prisoners Ride on Fried Snack Success

Prisoners Ride on Fried Snack Success

September 30: It all began with ‘bhajiya’ (fritters). A few years ago, prisoners of Sabarmati jail in the city of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, began a ‘bhajiya’ corner. They sold crispy ‘bhajiya’, a favourite snack of Gujaratis, in the shop. Predictably enough, the snack was a big draw among people. Sales touched Rs. 20,000 per day. Inspired by the runaway success of their venture, the prisoners have decided to diversify. They have proposed a series of profitable ventures that they would like to set up in the coming months....

Dia's Story

Dia, an 80-year-old labourer of Indian origin, lives in the corner of a cotton field in the western province of Kanchanaburi, Thailand. His rundown shack contains very little besides a military medal and a few clothes. The medal is a remnant of Dia’s eventful, if tragic, past. It is a past that has included a stint at Myanmar (then Burma), as a prisoner captured by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II (1939 – 45)....

From Prisoners to Teachers

From Prisoners to Teachers

July 1: Life in a prison can be quite depressing. Where prisoners are kept away from their near and dear ones. But now things in Delhi’s Tihar Jail are changing. The prison authorities have decided to bring about some light into the lives of the prisoners. True, the prisoners are here because of crimes they have committed. But, if something can help them become better human beings, there is no reason why they should not be encouraged....

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