Don’t Call Me Jailor, Says Tihar Jail’s First Female Incharge


New Delhi:  Anju Mangla, the first female superintendent of a men’s prison in the high-profile Tihar jail in New Delhi, dislikes being called “Jailor” as she feels it creates the image of a “harsh” person.

“The inmates are like children to me. They are quite young, vibrant, young and full of energy but they have been on the wrong side of law,” says Ms Mangla, who is incharge of 800 inmates between the age group of 18 to 21, to news agency PTI.

Ms Mangla has been in the service since 1990 and has served in Tihar jail for over three years. While Kiran Bedi and Vimla Mehra have served as DG of the high-security prison, Ms Mangla is the first female superintendent of a men’s jail.

She regularly holds one-to-one interactions with inmates and her mantra, she tells PTI, is to create a personal rapport with the prisoners. She further describes her prison as a ‘gurukul’ or a ‘hostel’ where the inmates are educated.

“It is a challenge but our Director General Sudhir Yadav reposed his faith in me. I have accepted the challenge. How you treat other human beings makes all the difference,” she adds.

According to PTI, the inmates have been divided into groups based on the type of education they require. So, there is a group of inmates who have never formal education and hence, are accordingly tutored. The inmates also get to play outdoor sports such as volleyball after their classes.

“During festivals, we have day-long events with participation of all inmates,” she further says and informs that inmates were also made to participate in a mock Parliament where they raised issues concerning women and children, during Constitution Week in November. “Imparting a disciplined way of life in a Gurukul sort of way is what we are doing here. They live like hostellers too,” the police officer says.