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Posted at: Sep 20, 2019, 7:23 AM; last updated: Sep 20, 2019, 1:14 PM (IST)

Himachal Pradesh jail inmates craft a new life

Bhanu P Lohumi
Tribune News Service
Shimla, September 19

Serving a life term, he had lost all hope of a better tomorrow when a proposal by the jail authorities transformed him into a new person.

“I was asked to design e-commerce portal for ‘Kaara Bazaar’ to sell products made by prisoners,” said the jail inmate. He was in the sixth semester at IIT-Roorkee when he was arrested in 2014.

Sharing his experiences with correctional service department officials from 16 states during a two-day conference here, he said he was shifted to an open jail and given a chance to coach students at a private institute. 

“The owner never asked me any questions. It was not easy for me to face people after years of imprisonment. Nevertheless, I was allowed to teach for a week. The students accepted me.” The prisoner, who developed online recruitment software for the Prisons Department, was paid Rs 2 lakh for his services, according to DGP Prisons Somesh Goyal. “Under a government scheme, the inmates are provided jobs so that they can be of help to their families,” he says. 

Another inmate was provided tools to make furniture.

REFORMATION AND REHABILITATION 

  • Rs 46,200 average annual income of prisoners
  • Rs 1.2 crore wages paid to inmates (2018-19)
  • 14 total number of prisons in Himachal Pradesh
  • 2,450 total number of inmates; among them 87 are women
  • 1,371 prisoners rehabilitated; 1,989 given fiscal assistance

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