Clutching a paper file with his CV in it and a prayer on his lips, the 28-year-old man walked gingerly towards a team of interviewers on Wednesday morning.
This was no usual job interview. The interviewee, Ram Kumar (name changed), is a convict in a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder; the setting was Delhi's Tihar Jail.
Kumar, a Master of Computer Applications (MCA), managed to impress an employer and bagged the job of an entry-level computer professional.
Kumar was among a group of 52 Tihar convicts who bagged jobs in a placement drive organised by the prison authorities. Only 38 other aspirants, all convicts who attended the interviews, didn't get any job offers.
This was the second round of placement drive undertaken by the Tihar authorities; the first was held in February that had fetched jobs for 43 inmates. Today's placement drive was only for convicts.
Pradip Mohan (name changed) got the most plum job offer — that of a manager. A trained tailor, Mohan was offered a salary of R20, 000 per month by a garment manufacturing firm. Candidates were offered salaries in the Rs 7,500-Rs 20,000 bracket.
Among the 90 candidates, Kumar was the lone MCA, while there were two post-graduates and five graduates.
They were convicted in cases ranging from cheating, to robbery and theft.
A security firm, among the six who attended the placement drive, selected 25 candidates as guards.
"All the aspirants have a record of good conduct inside the jail and would get their release within six months. For them it will be a chance to re-integrate into the society well," according to Director General (prisons) Neeraj Kumar.
"We had earlier trained the aspirants about how to prepare their CVs,” said Tihar's spokesperson Sunil Gupta.