To improve their employability or just pick up an additional skill, prisoners at the country's largest prison, Tihar, are increasingly attending spoken English classes being conducted there.
The two-hour long tutorials being organised every day have seen an increase in the number of students as more and more are expressing their interest in learning the language.
Authorities at the Tihar prison said both male and female prisoners are coming regularly to attend these classes and taking great interest in them.
"Over time, we have seen prisoners showing their keenness to join the classes. We have great rush to manage everyday," Tihar Prisons spokesperson Sunil Gupta said.
Interestingly, the classes are given not by language trainers but different English-speaking prisoners lodged here.
Explaining the idea behind the classes, Gupta said, "There are so many prisoners of foreign nations who know good English. They expressed an interest in teaching the language to other inmates and we helped them in realising it. It has been a great success since then."
According to the latest data, Tihar Jail has 11,246 prisoners, including 447 women.
The classes are being regularly held between 8 to 10 in the morning everyday for the past five years, the official said.
"As part of our reformation programme, we make sure that they learn something," Gupta said.
A number of courses are also being organised by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) at prisons to improve the knowledge of inmates.
"About 50 per cent of prisoners are illiterate. Our endeavour is that if such a person comes here for a short period of seven days, he or she should learn how to write his name and read something through our different educational programmes," Gupta said.
Senior officials are supervising the spoken-English programme and "efforts are on to make it more result-oriented."
Besides, computer courses and both adult and formal education arrangements have been made for prisoners at Tihar. Study Centres of IGNOU and National Institute of Open Schooling, Delhi have been established in the prison in which about 2,640 and 1,900 inmates students are respectively enrolled.