Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh today announced that Yerawada Jail located in Pune will be thrown open to the general public as part of its new “Jail Tourism" policy.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray along with Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar is expected to launch the scheme on 26 January, 2021 celebrated as Republic Day. While this is the first phase of the policy, the second one will involve the opening up of the Nagpur Central Jail. Subsequently, it could extend to other prisons in the state.
Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said “We aim to provide school, college, educational institutions and registered NGO’s access to these historical places at extremely nominal rates. This will help them look and feel elements of Indian freedom struggle and other historical events that have taken place at Yerawada jail." So far, the jails in Maharashtra have been out of bounds to the general public. It’s pertinent to note that on any given day the number of people visiting Yerawada will not exceed more than 50.
Many great Indian freedom movement leaders were imprisoned at the Yerawada jail. Mahatma Gandhi, Lokmanya Tilak, Motilal Nehru, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Sarojini Naidu, Subash Chandra Bose, were sent to prison here by the British regime. The places of their confinement though have been preserved as monuments that serve as a reminder of their supreme sacrifices.