Puducherry central prison reforms bring results: Vinayaka idols sold-out

Puducherry central prison reforms bring results: Vinayaka idols sold-out
An idol of goddess Ganesha displayed outside Kumartuli workshop, sellers waiting for customers on the eve of Ganesh Chaturthi in Kolkata on Thursday, September 09, 2021. (Photo: Kuntal Chakrabarty/IANS)

Puducherry, Sep 10 (IANS) The Puducherry Central Prison at Kalapet is witnessing some major reforms with the Inspector-General of Police, Prisons, Ravideep Singh Char taking the initiative to promote the mental and physical health, and skill development of the prison inmates.

The IG initiated the reforms in July 2021 and results have started coming out.

The prisoners to start with made 51 Vinayaka idols as part of the Vinayaka Chaturthi celebrations and the idols were sold off in minutes. The Puducherry Central prison officially launched the products with the slogan, "The second chance. Live life with dignity".

Ravideep Singh Char, IG prisons told IANS, "The reforms were initiated to make Puducherry central prison a model one in association with Sri Aurobindo Society. Idol making and weaving are two programmes that have been initiated along with yoga so that the prisoners have something to look forward to in life."

He said that the Vinayaka idols that were made by the prisoners were sold off like hot cakes in five minutes and more orders are coming in.

The officer said the prison was planning to operate a bakery unit, canteen, organic farming, and goshala (rearing of cows). These, according to the IG are not only to keep the prisoners engaged but also to make them develop a skill so that they can eke out a living later.

The Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) is already associated with the central prison for providing psychological counselling to the prisoners to improve their mental health. Routine dental checkups of the prisoners are also being conducted, the IG said.

Noted dance trainer Aloka Nanda, who was imparting dance and music therapy training to prisoners in West Bengal prisons successfully, has commenced dance and music therapy sessions for inmates at Puducherry Central prison also.

The jail department will train those who show interest in dance and music to take them up as a vocation so that they can use this skill for a living after walking out of the prison, said the IG.

The IG also said that with the installation of CCTV cameras the inflow of contraband drugs has stopped inside the prison. He also said that 25 wardens have been recruited to take care of the staff shortage the prison was facing.