Winter diseases stalk packed Mahottari prisonThe number of prisoners suffering from winter illnesses in the Mahottari district prison is on the rise, the prison administration stated.
The number of prisoners suffering from winter illnesses in the Mahottari district prison is on the rise, the prison administration stated.
At least 125 inmates receive treatment for cold-related diseases on a daily basis, said prison chief Shovendra Thakur.
The inmates blame the prison administration for failing to provide them with warm clothes and blankets.
“Relatives of some inmates visit frequently and bring them warm clothes. But others do not get any visitors and they are the ones who have to brave the cold without much protection,” said Sri Narayan Mahato, a prison guard.
Matar Safi, 80, who is serving a jail term in the prison said, “My relatives do not visit me. I have nothing but a dhoti and a shawl to wear in this cold temperature. I hope the prison administration provides with me some warm clothes.”
The women cell of the prison has 46 inmates while the male cell is packed with 496 inmates.
The inmates say they have also been facing difficulties due to lack of sufficient space, toilets and water facilities.
According to an inmate, they have to wait for hours to use the toilet, take a shower and wash clothes. The women cell has just one tap and a toilet while the men cell has four taps and four toilets that has to be shared by 496 inmates. Due to the poor personal hygiene, the inmates have been suffering from skin diseases as well.
Thakur said, “The prison is overcrowded. It gets new inmates on a daily basis but the dress and medical budget remains the same. We are unable to meet the needs of the overflowing prison inmates.”
The jail administration said it had repeatedly requested the local administration and the prison management department to do something about the overcrowded facility, but the authorities concerned have not taken any step so far.
The prison has not undergone proper renovations since its establishment nearly 150 years ago.