While inaugurating the conference on “Positive Engagement of Inmates in Prisons” organized by Prison & Correctional Services here today, Governor Bandaru Dattatraya said that prisoners were the responsibility of the State and society. He urged the members of civil society to participate in the process of rehabilitation so that they could be the main part of society.
He said that prisoners were the most marginalized section of society and people generally forget about prisoners and what happens to them and their families after they are lodged inside the jails. Life in prisons may be difficult but for the family, it becomes misery, because they were deprived of the support of the breadwinner, he added. “All the prisons in the country are contributing to skilling the prisoners and providing opportunities to earn a livelihood while remaining inside the prisons. A turnover of Rs. 200 Crores in prison factories in 2016 is no mean achievement”, said Shri Dattatraya.
Shri Dattatraya said that he has been in jail during the emergency and he got a chance to talk to inmates and then he realized the reality of life. He emphasized more reforms in prisons to promote humanity. He said that there were a large number of prisoners in the jails of the country and this human power should be channelized in a right direction.
The Governor said that it was his first function in the State he attended as a Governor as he was more concerned about the issues of prison reform and rehabilitation of the prisoners. He said that the State has done some pioneering work in prisoner rehabilitation and “Har Hath Ko Kaam” project has been acclaimed far and wide. He compliments DGP, Prison for this innovative project. He said it was gratifying that in Himachal women were also being provided livelihood opportunities by arranging jobs for them outside prisons and all state should also follow it.
He also lauded the efforts of the Prisons Department to initiate e-Peshi and e-Prisons Softwares and facility of Video Conferencing not only between the Headquarters and Prisons but also between relatives and inmates. He hoped that such modernization efforts would continue in future also so that the lives of prisoners could be improved and modern facilities can also be made available in the department as well.
On this occasion, Chairperson, Himachal Pradesh Women Commission Daisy Thakur, said that proper arrangements have been made for the prisoners in prisons of Himachal Pradesh as per the jail manual. She said that she herself has visited these jails. He emphasized on skill development of prisoners and setting up of open jails to ensure better rehabilitation of prisoners.
Additional Chief Secretary, Home Manoj Kumar said that most of the problems related to prisoners could be overcome with proper infrastructure development. He added that more efforts should be made to rehabilitate the prisoners so that they could reside with dignity after prison. He said that the way many steps have been taken for prisoners in Himachal Pradesh were examples for other states. He also urged NGOs and industrial houses to cooperate in the rehabilitation of prisoners.
He hoped that in the two-day deliberations we would all come up with pragmatic suggestions to improve the programmes for rehabilitation with the society.
Inspector General, Bureau of Police Research and Development Tejinder Singh also spoke on the occasion
Earlier, Director General of Prison & Correctional Services Somesh Goel welcomed and honour the Governor on the occasion and detailed about the conference. He also gave a detailed presentation on jail inmates.
The Governor also visited the exhibition stall and took a keen interest in the items prepared by the prisoners organized by the Prison & Correctional Services on the occasion.
Mayor, Municipal Corporation Shimla Kusum Sadret, DGPs, Former DGPs, Representatives from 20 states, and Members of Academia and Civil Society were also present on the occasion.