In a unique move, female inmates of Tihar jail in Delhi have turned into fashion designers for the entire cast of a film called Mark Sheet. The inmates of Tihar jail had learnt to design clothes in a fashion lab set up by the jail authorities in 2017. However, this will be the first time when Tihar inmates will be designing costumes for a film. The makers of the film believe that it is a radical step towards rehabilitation. These inmates are working with film’s designer Winkie Singh to prepare clothes for the cast.
The film’s leading man Imran Zahid was quoted as saying by Bollywood Hungama that having these talented ladies as their creative partners is their good fortune. “We’ve seen how recent films like Pad Man and Toilet – Ek Prem Katha address social issues and bring about a reformatory impulse through cinema. Our films Mark Sheet is about leaked examination papers in Bihar. It is based on true facts,” he said.
The step comes at a time when Bollywood is consistently taking up social issues and trying to empower people through its films. The jail authorities, meanwhile, have come up with many initiatives for the inmates to showcase their talent.
In 2012, Tihar jail authorities launched the Tihar idols to encourage inmates who are good singers to bring their talent to the forefront. Over the years, many big singers from Sonu Nigam to Anuradha Padwal to Sudha Chandran have judged the show within the jail which involves music and dance.
Initially, the step was taken as a music therapy for inmates by the then DG of Tihar jail, Neeraj Kumar. As it became popular, a music studio was established within the jail premises wherein the inmates practice music.
The studio was set up in association with a music company. Sarangi maestro Ustad Kamal Sabri who was one of the first music teachers in Tihar jail who taught music to many inmates including Manu Sharma, who was involved in the Jessica Lall murder case.