Accused of murdering his wife, 28-year-old Sarabjeet Singh has been in Patiala central jail for the past four years. These years started on a very depressing note but have turned out to be very fruitful for this graduate from Patiala.
Sarabjeet did a two-year PG diploma course in computer applications from Punjabi University’s distance education programme. As part of his project report, he thought, what better idea than to prepare a computer software for better management of jails — a place that has been almost a second home for him. The software — still in the process of completion — so impressed Punjab DG (jails) Mohammad Izhar Alam that the top cop has asked jail authorities to make some amendments to it and complete it so that it could be implemented in jails across the state.
Patiala Central Jail DSP Rajan Kapur, who encouraged Sarabjeet to create the software, said it has details such as separate records of undertrials, convicts and their parole schedules, medical and criminal history, daily visitors, jail inventory and details about jail staff. If implemented, the software could help in better management of the chaotic jails.
Trying to make his life even more useful, Sarabjeet is also imparting basic computer education to around 20 undertrials and convicts. He designed the course himself. Before undergoing the PGDCA course, Sarabjeet completed a data entry operators’ course from Sant Longowal Institute of engineering technology, run inside the jail as per a central government project.
As Kapur says, Sarabjeet is very excited about his software and wants it approved by the Punjabi University and Punjab government’s department of jails. “He (Sarabjeet) says his life would get some meaning in case his work gets approval… I also feel he should get approval as the purpose of his stay in jail — to be a better human being — would be fulfilled.”