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Aug 14, 2012 at 09:43am IST

Jaipur Central Jail prisoners find refuge in art

Jaipur: Murder convict TB Thapa always wanted to be a painter. At the age of 35, he finally realised his dream, albeit at the most unlikeliest of places - the Jaipur Central Jail.

"This is like meditation... It takes away from the stress and confinement of being in jail," he says with a glint in his eye.

Like Thapa, Madhusudan, another convict, too picked up the brush and palette and now nurtures hopes of a life as an artist after his release.

"Earlier, I would struggle to deal with negative thoughts... Now there is a certain calmness in my mind," he says.

Many convicts at the jail discovered their interest in art after a workshop organised by the jail authorities.

Navneet Pareek, their art teacher, said, "They are painting themes derived from nature... birds and trees... so while that cannot fill the void that exists out of being here but it brings them peace."

What came as a pleasant surprise to the jail authorities as well as the inmates who have turned artists was that with just over a month of art workshop behind them, there were positive behavioural changes in them. They were a lot calmer, much happier with a better morale.

Authorities at the Jaipur Central Jail believe that their hobby will successfully rehabilitate the convicts after their prison time and help them earn a living for themselves.

"The paintings they will make will be showcased in an exhibition and the proceeds from it will go into their accounts," said OR Rohin, SP, Jail.

Drawing inspiration from the masters, the convicts are now able to add a little bit of colour to their lives with each brushstroke, hoping to showcase their canvas as and when they step out of the Jaipur Central Jail.