Monday, May 16, 2016

Jailed For Love - Life After Prison, A True Story

I have been attempting to write this story since 2 months, tried various options to get to the jail authorities and lawyers but nobody wants to talk about it. Any conversation regarding the rights of the prisoners sparks a debate, ‘why should we worry about them?' agreed, but what about the ones who are being punished due to a delay in judgement and spend years being an under trial. Our society does not forgive them even after they have served their term for being guilty. In most cases even their own families avoid contact and support. 

Life Hack: There is a strong nexus of unspoken politics, crime, and bribe that exists within these jails you have to really ‘up’ your survival game. 
This is the story of Nagma (name changed), she was married at the age of 22 in UP. “Amitabh Bachchan was also born in Allahabad, but his kismet made him a super star and mine made me a criminal”.  I asked her the reason and she replied in a very poetic yet tragic tone “Pyaar Ke Liye”, I wanted a good life with my husband, he introduced me to an easy way of making money, initially I smuggled small packets of drugs unaware but by the time I realised the mess, it was too late. As time progressed he got very abusive and difficult, I was balancing guilt, a new born child and a drunk husband at the same time. 

Then something I feared for months finally happened, I was caught in a big raid which turned my life upside down. If you are seized, you are left on your own nobody comes forward, even my husband left me with the fear of getting caught himself. 

Nagma spent almost 5 years in the prison, out of which 2 years were under trial. Her daughter was with her throughout as she was completely dependant on her. According to the Indian jurisdiction, the child can accompany the mother in the jail till the age of 6years. “ I do not know if it was good or bad” my daughter was raised behind the bars, for no fault of hers. She was fed and looked after better than my relatives would but she thinks, jail is her real home because no one talks to us when we are free. 

Nagma’s story is a reflection of what most of these women go through once they are released from the prison. I really believe in letting people recover emotionally, just because you did something bad, doesn't mean you are a bad person. We need to give them opportunities to reintegrate with the society. Nagma is going to help me (PhotoblogHER) with body positive workshops in schools, she wants to be a part of the society in a constructive way in the hope that this might give her daughter a normal childhood. 

We judge people too soon, every struggle always has a reason, she committed the crime for the love of her life and now she wants to be a better person for the love of her child. If they are willing to make a positive change give them a chance because no one is perfect. 
Nagma's story was covered by C4N News and Speaking Tree, within 24 hours I received emails from readers across India who genuinely wanted to help them. One of them has offered to help her daughter with education and child development. Every step in the right direction deserves an applause.

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