The Central Jail of Udaipur has been in the limelight over a few years now for the unique policies and programs incorporated by the stakeholders on their own as well as through self help organisations such as Shikshanter. In its new avaatar, the Jail is in the spot light due to the Prisoners Band. A group of 12 inmates are performing through their piper bands at marriage ceremonies and private functions across Udaipur.
The demand of the Piper Band of these inmates has suddenly increased and the team has started getting bookings for marriages, birthday parties and other functions in Udaipur these days.
The team of band members includes the persons either convicted or under trial for crimes as heinous as murder and rape. However, their behavior and bonding with the Jail administration is such that they are allowed to step out of the Jail for a few hours without any hesitation.
These inmates turned musicians go out of Jail under supervision for a few hours, perform their Piper music and return back to their cells. They are guarded by only two guards who always accompany them during these functions.
Jail Superintendent Rajendra Kumar informed that the prisoners that were having good conduct in the Jail were selected and trained to play the Piper Band. He said, "we have full confidence on these inmates, however, as protocol and for practical purposes, we keep two Jail Guards to accompany them on their musical adventure every time they go out of the jail. They play the piper for a definite period and return back. The key attraction is the traditional Piper Band getup, that was a tradition of the earlier years. The yare the only Band under this getup in the market".
Kumar also said that 50% of the payment is transferred to the Prisoner Fund and 50% of it is distributed among the members of the Prisoners Band.