Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar launched seven new schemes for prisoners initiated by the Prisons and Correctional Services Department, Himachal Pradesh at Model Central Prison, Kanda near Shimla, today. These include meditation program, telemedicine project, financial literacy program, waste management, free online coaching, audio library and release of poetry collection ‘Parwaz’.
On the occasion, the Governor said that it was an emotional moment for him to see the skills of the inmates of prison. Appreciating the efforts of Additional Director General of Police, Prisons and Correctional Services, Satwant Atwal, he said “How the prison has been converted into a reform house, which is an extra effort of ADGP. Prisoners also have thoughts and feelings. The reason they came here is unfortunate. But, his time does not end here, new hopes for the future are waiting for them”.
The Governor appealed to them to become capable to face the future challenges. “Whatever may be the reason for coming here, they are here to learn, experiment, get trained and move forward with positive thoughts”, said Arlekar. He said that this was a correctional home, so various programs were being run for the prisoners. By adopting these programs it would not only benefit them but also the society.
The Governor was impressed by the cultural program presented by the inmates.
Earlier, the Governor launched the Transcendental Meditation program and training, which will be implemented by the Transcendental Meditation Institute. He also launched a telemedicine program in prisons through e-Sanjeevani by the Health and Family Welfare Department of Himachal Pradesh. In this program, specialist doctors will give online consultation to the prisoners. He also launched a financial literacy program for prisoners in collaboration with the Reserve Bank of India. The Prisons Department in association with West Warriors Society Dharamshala has set up a Waste Management Unit at Dharamshala under the ‘Waste Under Arrest Program’ for waste management. Such units will also be operated in all other jails of the State. There will be a two-pronged strategy in these units. Inmates will be taught to segregate waste and others will be taught waste upcycling techniques such as vermicomposting from green waste and making boards from Tetra Pack. The Governor also started waste management with the help of the society. He also launched free online coaching for the children of prisoners with the help of Smile Foundation. An audio library was also started for the prisoners who could not read books due to paucity of time.
Later, the Governor also planted a sapling at Kanda Jail. He also inspected various units where prisoners are manufacturing various products.
On the occasion, Assistant Director General of Police Satwant Atwal welcomed the Governor and detailed about the various activities implemented by the Prisons and Correctional Services Department. He said that one barrack each in every jail has been declared as a free prison in the state. In these, the eligible prisoners were earning their livelihood by going out of the jail and taking better care of their families. He said that Himachal Pradesh was the only state in the country which has provided free prison facility to eligible women prisoners. He said that other prisons of the country are following the example of Himachal Pradesh. He said that these works have been appreciated by various institutions and have also been rewarded in nine different categories.
Additional Director General of Police Abhishek Trivedi, Secretary to the Governor Rajesh Sharma and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.