Despite being a superstar whose movies earn crores of rupees in Bollywood, Sanjay Dutt - who will be let out of Pune's Yerawada Jail on Thursday - will receive a meagre Rs 440 for making paper bags and khaki envelopes while serving his time in prison. 56-year-old Dutt, who has served 42 months of his five-year prison term in Pune's Yerawada jail following his conviction in a case related to the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, will be released on Thursday. (Also Read: Munnabhai is Coming Home From Jail. Here's Everything You Need to Know)
Dutt earned the Rs 440 for making paper bags and khaki envelopes in prison. As per the prison manual, a convicted prisoner has to be assigned some work so he can learn certain skills and utilise them outside jail after he completes his term. As per the prison manual, Rs 45 is given for unskilled labour, semi-skilled labour earns an inmate Rs 50 and skilled labour is given Rs 55.
A jail officer said, "Dutt was initially given the job of making paper bags from newspapers. He was trained by a team of experts, and was tagged as an unskilled labour. Under this, he was paid Rs 45 after preparing 100 paper bags perfectly. Five months ago, he was tasked with preparing Khaki envelopes for a government office and for every 1,000 envelopes he used to get R50. He took two-three weeks to complete these tasks."
No money for RJ-ing
He added, "During his sentence, Dutt has earned around Rs 440 and he will be given the money on Thursday morning around 9 am. By 10 am, he will be released, like any other prisoner. However, he will not be paid for his work as a radio jockey (RJ), since that was meant as a recreational activity and was not labour-oriented work. He enjoyed being an RJ as he got to move out of his cell for a couple of hours and get in touch with the masses."
Another officer spoke about Dutt's role as an RJ at the jail's internal radio station. He said, "Dutt's show began from noon to 1 pm. He began by greeting his listeners either with 'Good Morning bhai log' or 'Good Afternoon'. Dutt worked on the show with three other prisoners. In his show, he would discuss some movie sequences or give first-hand information about movie planning and other things."
The officer added, "On one occasion, Dutt gave a motivational speech, and said the prison sentence he was serving was a bad patch in his life, which would soon go away. Recently, during Shiv Jayanti, he also shared some stories about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. On Wednesday, it is his last day here, and his fellow inmates have dedicated most of the songs and dialogues to him."
The officer added, "Dutt became emotional while sharing his experiences in prison. He told inmates about his luxurious life and how he has played a diverse range of roles in movies, right from being a notorious goon to a police officer. But, he realised that life in prison is a lot more difficult than an action sequence. Dutt would also salute our senior officers when they came for inspections."
Dutt has been serving his term in Yerawada prison since April 2013, and was kept in a secluded yard near the Phasi Yard. He was out on furlough or on parole for a total of 118 days in his 42-month jail term.
Another police officer who has been observing his movement from day one said, "Dutt initially used to cry a lot. Since he is a chain smoker, it was a difficult for him to adapt to the lifestyle in jail [inmates are not provided with cigarettes]. Later, he leant how to kill time in prison by replying to the letters his wife and his near and dear ones wrote to him."
He added, "Many fans had also started sending letters to him and he personally wrote back to them. But we gradually stopped this. He used to chant God's name and read spiritual books. He was quite an introvert at first, but he came out of his shell after he got to know he is going to be a part of a dance performance. He geared up for it and started preparing with other inmates. That was the time he became normal with the others in prison."
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)