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Inmates get a reason to hope

delhi Updated: Nov 16, 2011 00:21 IST
Jatin Anand
Jatin Anand
Hindustan Times
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‘He who opens a door closes a prison—Victor Hugo’ proclaimed a banner above a classroom at Tihar’s Jail Number 3. If there’s anyone who has faith in these words by the French essayist and statesman, it is 23-year-old Raju Kumar from Bihar’s Gopalganj district.

An inmate at Tihar’s Jail Number 3, Raju, having left school at primary level, had initially planned on becoming a factory hand at Bawana. But, life had some other plans for him.

“I got implicated in a case of abduction two days after I reached Delhi in 2003. Over last eight years, I’ve studied more than I could have possibly imagined back home,” he said.

On Tuesday, Raju went from being just one of the several inmates pursuing multiple academic qualifications to joining the ranks of inmates being offered jobs during an internal recruitment drive at the prison facility.

The third and last such drive to have been held at the facility this year, as many as hundred inmates, 10 of whom were women, participated in the recruitment drive.

Almost all potential recruits were placed and some even received multiple employment opportunities. The participating companies included SMC, Rockland Hotels, Agarwal Packers and Movers, UniBuild Constructions among others.

“I used to read the Guru Granth Sahib every day, but didn’t know what the words meant. That was until I found a book carrying a beautiful translation in the jail’s library,” said 22-year-old Jasdeep Singh, an under-trial in a murder case, who was offered a job as a security and hospitality manager.

Organised for the first time in February, the first installment of the recruitment drive had seen participation of as many as eight companies and 14 inmates. “The next drive was organised in July and saw more than 50 inmates participating. This time, there were more recruiters and participants which evidently points at a boost in the confidence levels of both,” said a Tihar Jail official.