Behind the walls of the central prison, there are harrowing tales of haplessness and despair. While many are incarcerated for justified reasons, there are, however, those who have fallen prey to a brutal and an apathetic system, those who have been left to rot behind its high walls. Usually, payment of a fine set them free, but because some families can’t afford the amount, they remain behind bars.
Janasadbhawana, which has been striving to reform small-time offenders languishing in jails. Janasadbhawana get them out legally, helps rehabilitate them and has many such stories to narrate from a decade of work. Our photo album has a picture of a mother and her three toddlers, who were motionless when it was snapped. The mother had killed her children and then committed suicide because she could no longer feed them. Her husband was serving a 2-year term in prison, because of a petty crime. Janasadbhawana’s intention is to see that such inmates, especially the youth, are steered in the right direction and offer advice so that they are able to lead normal lives once they come out. So far, 450 such people have been helped, many of whom now work as volunteers of the organization.
Picture this: A group of migrant workers, who had served an unfathomable 4 years, behind those walls because they were caught traveling in a train without tickets. There are many people who are detained in jails for unreasonably long periods for petty crimes. The chances that such small-time offenders or innocent inmates become habitual criminals because of the influence of others they meet in prison or if their families’ refusal to accept them back.
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There is no end to Faiz’s enthusiasm. Human trafficking, domestic violence, petty crimes, child labour; you name it and Faiz has a story to tell you about it. He says there is a lot to be done in society if his dream of making Karnataka a safe and crime-free State has to come true. Inspired by his work, the Vellore Jail in Tamil Nadu and the Howrah jail in West Bengal have also set up teams of volunteers of Janasadbhawana and are working for the welfare of jail inmates.
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Though he is not backed by large funders, his activity has not slowed down. There are times, when he has got inmates to his house for temporary shelter and times, when he has failed to pay his rent to get prisoners released, but does his family ever complaints? “Yes it makes us uncomfortable, yes there are lot of challenges, but we have learnt to live by it, as his work demands it,” says Faiz’s elder sister, who along with his wife and other members of his family have stood by him.
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“Indeed he (Faiz) is the real worker and friend of this prison; He has bequeathed his heart to this jail. We can’t even recompense his love to this prison and prisoners. Along-with upholding the unity, he has done varied kinds of aids. He has lifted them up who stumbled. He has eased our future. He has done a great job. We are grateful to him.” are the words of Mr. TH Lakshmi Narayan, DIG of Bangalore Prisons in an occasion of releasing deserved inmates, shows the credibility of Faiz.
Because our work is voluntary and does not receive funds or grant from any organization, we are now running from pillar to post to somehow keep the work running. As an independent organization, Janasadbhawana needs your support. Without you, we would not be able to continue to counsel, pay the bail money on behalf of the prisoners, and work for the downtrodden.