And now, a yummy literary feast from Viyyur jail inmates

Punarjani
Works on the magazine, titled ‘Punarjani’, including the cover page, editing and deciding the contents, were all done by the prisoners.
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Mulankunnathukavu: The inmates of Central Jail in Viyyur, Thrissur, Kerala had earlier proved their talents in cooking, farming and handicrafts. They have surprised everyone again by bringing out a quality magazine all by themselves.

Works on the magazine, titled ‘Punarjani’, including the cover page, editing and deciding the contents, were all done by the prisoners.

The magazine in which the inmates of the jail have unleashed their creative instincts is all set for release.

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Several interesting incidents in the magazine are related to the real life instances of the prisoners, including the one of visit by Mar Chrysostom Valiya Metropolitan to Central Prison, Poojappura, Thiruvananthapuram.

Addressing the jail inmates, the Metropolitan had said with a tinge of humour, “Friends, learning to steal alone is not enough, you should have the skill to stand your ground as well. You are behind the bars because you don’t know that. If you had it, you would have ended up a Metropolitan like me.” The inmates had burst into guffaws.

The incident is described in an article by Vipin Lal, an inmate of the Viyyur jail. Vipin says that the Metropolitan’s words gave great relief to him as he could view life in prison with a sense of humour.

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People from several countries, speaking different languages and belonging to various faiths live together in the jail. The works of the inmates reveal that all of them consider jail life as a learning experience. They maintain a positive attitude and try to adjust themselves to the life behind the bars. Most of them also hope to turn a new leaf in their lives.

However, the inmates have taken care to avoid references to the crimes that led to their incarceration. The works also do not deal with the setbacks the prisoners had to face in their lives after committing the offences. Most of the works, in fact, are symbolic representations of their sense of loss.

According to the jail inmates, it was the encouragement and support of Jail Superintendent N S Nirmalanandan Nair and welfare officer O J Thomas that helped them produce the magazine.

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