Guwahati, May 17, 2019
For Muslims, Ramadan is a month of fasting, prayer, healing, reflection, self-restraint and community. Keeping up with the spirit of Ramadan, the authorities of the Guwahati Central Jail have made special arrangements for the fasting inmates. The jail officials informed that the Hindu inmates are also helping their co-prisoners of Muslim faith in preparing sehri (pre-dawn meal) and iftar (evening meal).
Ramadan which is referred to as the ‘holy month’ in the Islamic calendar began on May 6th, 2019. The month lasts 29–30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon.
“We have a special room for the inmates who are observing Roza (fasting). The officials and inmates are working together as a family to provide the required assistance to the fasting Muslim inmates. Out of a total of 1,220 prisoners at the Guwahati Central Jail, at least 200 Muslim prisoners are observing Roza every day,” said an official while speaking to TIME8.
“The headcount changes every day. Someday it stands at 150-175 and other days, it increases to 200. We started preparing for the month of Ramadan from last month itself by collecting dates, juices which are commonly consumed during fasting,” he added.
The official further shared that the jail atmosphere wears a “peaceful and serene” look in the month of Ramadan. “Hindu inmates help the Muslim inmates in the month of Ramadan setting an example of communal harmony and solidarity,” added the official.
Out of the total 1,220 prisoners lodged at the Guwahati Central Jail, 60 are women, 10 convicts and 40 inmates are undertrials.