Ninety-nine per cent free


To the 94 men in the Anantapur open prison, freedom lies within the jail

As the fierce mid-day sun beats down on the rocky plains that surround the town of Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh, a massive banyan tree offers refuge to a group of men taking a break from their work in the fields. Anantapur’s farmers have an unenviable task. One of India’s driest districts, drought is the norm rather than an aberration here. This year too, the rains have failed and yields will undoubtedly be low.

But the mood under the banyan tree is relaxed. Banter flows easily as a chaiwallah hands out cups of lukewarm tea. Unlike most other cultivators in the region, these men are assured three meals a day even if their crops fail. All of them, including the man doling out the chai, are convicts serving out life sentences for murder at the Prisoners Agricultural Colony in Anantapur...................Read more

 

Source: The Hindu


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