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Transforming prisoners mindset through reforms

Transforming prisoners mindset through reforms
Highlights

Central Prison in the historical city has become hub for jail reforms in the state with prisoners being moulded to become responsible citizens through training imparted to them in varioustrades classes apart from teaching them moral values. Many prisoners from this jail have come out with confidence and leading a peaceful life with their family members.

Rajamahendravaram: Central Prison in the historical city has become hub for jail reforms in the state with prisoners being moulded to become responsible citizens through training imparted to them in varioustrades classes apart from teaching them moral values. Many prisoners from this jail have come out with confidence and leading a peaceful life with their family members.

The inmates here are being trained in making steel furniture, coir articles, wooden material apart from weaving of various varieties of clothes etc. In addition to this, the jail authorities have been instrumental in transforming illiterates into literates and many of them have completed degree and post-graduation during their confinement.

Meanwhile, the prisoners are also involved in productive activities in open air jail.Esaa Koteswara Rao a prisoner, who is working in the petrol bunk said he was imprisoned in October 2008 in a case related to murder. “Jail authorities gave me this opportunity to work in open air jail and I utilised it judiciously. This imprisonment thought me a lot about value of the life.

I am planning to take up agriculture after being released from the jail,” he said and added that his wife and two children are residing in Appapuram village of Nadendla mandal in Guntur district. “I am getting a monthly salary of Rs 3,000 and the jail authorities aredepositing half of the amount in the bank and the remaining is being sent to my family.”

Another lifer, Ekobu said he completed fifth class in the jail. “Meanwhile, working in open area, instead of in the prison is giving good relief and pleasure,” he says. Ekobu said that after completion of prison sentence, a certificate is given by the authorities gives them a certificate. He wants to take up some Small business in Mandadi village of Yeldurthi mandal of Guntur district. Ekobu was imprisoned in 2008 and shifted to open air jail in the year 2012.

According to central prison superintendent Dr M Vara Prasad, because of prisoners being involved various activitiesin the jail, their monthly wages have increased to Rs 1,839 during 2016-2017, from Rs 822 during 2015-2016 and Rs 417 during 2014-2015. As many as 264 prisoners are working in steel furniture unit making steel almirahs,dual desks, benches, student chairs, steel cots etc.

He said that Rs 6,19,54 worth of steel furniturewas produced from April 2016 to March 2017. In Weaving unit, at about 106 prisoners are involved in making lungies, curtains, towels, bed sheets and many other varieties. So far, this year, Rs 61,37,729 worth of cloth products were produced. In tailoring unit in which 52 prisoners are involved, this year Rs 21,54,665 worth of readymade garments were produced.

Many government and private institutions including colleges are giving orders because of the quality of products.Dr M Vara Prasadfurther added that as many as 45 prisoners are working in open air jail and cultivating vegetables and fruits etc in 18 acres. This year an amount of Rs 19,92,947 was earned from vegetables and Rs 26 lakh from dairy farm.In addition to this, 21 prisoners are working in the petrol bunk of Indian Oil Corporation(IOC), maintained by central jail. They are paid an amount of Rs 3,000 permonth.

A profit of Rs 1,15,30,109 was earned in the year 2016-2017, as against of Rs 57,29,350in the year 2015-2016 through industrial units and semi-open prisons. Meanwhile, Rs 1,45,35,880 worth of petrol and diesel was sold in the petrol bunk during the 2016-2017. At present as many as 139 students are studying BA and 40 students are doing their post-graduate course through Dr BR Ambedkar Open University. During, May this year 23 prisonersreceived degrees and one prisoner got gold medal. The prison is equipped with a library which has 5,000 books.

By SS Chary

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