A festive mood prevailed at the Amritsar central jail Saturday with women from various walks of life, including social and political organisations, coming forward to tie rakhis on prison inmates.
Social activist Swaraj Grover, Amrit Kaur, a lecturer at local Khalsa College, Anjana Seth, director, Holy Heart Presidency School, Rajni Dogra, principal of a city-based school and Rekha Mahajan, a social activist, among others tied rakhis on hundreds of prisoners and distribute fruits, bakery items and sweets.
Earlier, jail superintendent RK Sharma along with other officials gave a warm welcome to a group of women who made it a point to make the Raksha Bandhan special for the inmates. The women asked the inmates to be responsible citizens, some of whom even took pledge never to commit crime or use drugs in their life.
"Like everyone else we too miss our families on the occasion of festivals. But when we have people coming and giving us love it makes our day. Today, we pledge that we will never commit any crime and say no to drugs. This is the best we can give them as gift on Raksha Bandhan," said a group of inmates in chorus.
"The aim behind this initiative was to tell them that living behind the bars does not segregate them from the mainstream society. They are very much part of our society," an activist said.
"Every year we give the inmates an opportunity to meet their sisters and families on Raksha Bandhan. A 20-minute slot is given to them for this and they are brought to a special area in the jail where they get time to spend with each other. Women or girls bring sweets for their brothers and even we arrange sweets," said RK Sharma.
The Nagpur central jail has decided to discontinue the tradition of allowing relatives to meet the inmates and tie rakhis on prison inmates on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan this year.