Tale of two mothers behind bars

The bond between a mother and a child is inseparable. Two jailed women from Keonjhar, who are bringing up their kids inside the district jail, have proved it again.

Nitima Munda of Bareigoda village in Harichandanpur police station area and Tulasi Karua of Sadar police station area now have only one goal in life – to see their children well placed in life.

Nitima and her husband were arrested a few months back in a murder case. She has seven children, out of which three are girls. Two of them, one-year-old and five-year-old, live with her in the jail.

On the other hand, Tulasi, who was also arrested along with her husband in a murder case, has a nine-month-old son, who lives with his parents in the jail.

Nitima said, “I have no one else to look after my children. These two kids cannot live by themselves. The one-year-old girl has to be breastfed. Here in the jail, I take care of them all day and night and feed them whatever available in jail. We are worried about their future.”

Faced with similar problems, Tulasi said, “I have to breastfeed my boy. My other baby, who is only three-year-old, lives alone. We are always worried about their future. As for this one, he keeps me engaged all daly long. I bathe him, feed him, play with him. I feel extremely dejected when I think how my kids are suffering because of us being in jail.”

Apart from these two women, Sabirti Sabar of Sambalpur, who is five-month pregnant, is also in the jail awaiting bail. Sabitri said, “The jail authorities have arranged all facilities for me. I get milk, vitamins and medicines from them.”

Amiya Pattnayak, the jail super, said, “The children are allowed to live with their mothers as per the order of the magistrate. As per Supreme Court guidelines, we provide them facilities like good food and medicines. Regular health checkups are also conducted.”

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