From prison to job: Karnal inmates get employed

  • Vishal Joshi, Hindustan Times, Karnal
  • Updated: Jun 07, 2015 09:33 IST

Breaking social taboos associated with jails, three private institutions of the city have offered direct employment to the reformed criminals.

They said that it was in recognition of various reform activities initiated by the Karnal prison authorities that encouraged them to be a part of the rehabilitation process of the criminals.

Jyoti Book Depot (JBD), a Karnal-based publishing house, has decided to get their school books typed inside the jail. It is proposed that the jail inmates will be paid emoluments directly in their bank accounts opened by the local prison authorities.

“We have decided to offer the typing work for our few books in different languages to the jail inmates. If our experiment works, we will come up with more such projects,” said Naveen Dutta, production head of the publishing house.

As a part of the rehabilitation programme, inmates are being trained in computer applications at a computer centre run by Dubai-based philanthropist SP Singh Oberoi. The centre offers recognised certificate courses to inmates free of cost.

Satinder Gahlyan, 29, head of the Karnal prison’s information technology division, is the lead teacher. Gahlyan, who is serving a 14-year jail term in a dowry death case, was working with a Hyderabad-based multinational company as project in charge before he was lodged in the jail.

“I am helping the jail inmates in computer literacy and they seem enthusiastic. The novel initiative will give them an opportunity to hone their skills and earn money,” said Gahlyan, who was instrumental in introducing digital jail management system in the Karnal jail.

Similarly, managements of two private schools — VP International School and Doon International School — have also expressed their desire to give employment of eligible reformed inmates.

Managing director of VP International School Prateek Kathpalia gives credit to jail superintendent Sher Singh for encouraging the school management to become a part of the prisoners’ reformative activities.

“We are ready to experiment with an inmate who has completed his sentence with good conduct. If the jail superintendent recommends, we are ready to absorb them as a driver, cleaner, gardener or other similar works,” said Kathpalia.

He added they might extend similar job offers to the eligible individuals for teaching assignments in the near future. “Our education society is opening an industrial training institute (ITI) on Assandh road and we are ready to train jail inmates in the available trades with the permission of the jail authorities,” said Kathpalia.

“Following an invitation by the jail superintendent, I recently visited the prison premises. I was pleased to learn that the individuals who served us tea and were managing activities in the jail office were actually convicts. We should have a compassionate attitude towards the jail inmates and be a part of their rehabilitation process,” he said.

Jail superintendent Sher Singh, who was awarded the President’s Medal in 2013 for rendering correctional services in jails from Haryana, urged more entrepreneurs to come forward and offer jobs to the jail inmates after their release from the jail.

“Once the inmates are well conversant with computer typing, we may allow them to work in groups in shifts to complete the JBD’s tasks. The jail authorities are using various correctional techniques through spiritualism, vocational trainings and evolving inmate-friendly environment in the jail. But without the active support of society, reformative and rehabilitation programmes in the jail were incomplete,” he said.

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