Mumbai: In a move to rehabilitate prisoners by engaging them in different sports activities, a unique competition was organized for prisoners across India. As a part of this initiative, professional coaches will train the prisoners, the initiative was inaugurated today at Yerwada Jail in Pune by Atulchandra Kulkarni, Additional Director of General, Maharashtra Prisons. Prisoners from nine states will compete in Chess, Badminton, Carrom, and Volleyball. Soon the women prisoners will be given the same opportunity, added Kulkarni.
The initiative, which was kickstarted on Saturday, will enroll prisoners from nine states across the country-- Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. From Maharashtra, prisoners from two jails-- Yerwada and Kolhapur, will be eligible for professional training to hone their skills in volleyball, basketball, chess, and carrom, to eradicate their criminal tendencies and give a boost to their rehabilitation.
Atulchandra Kulkarni, ADG Prisons Maharashtra, said, "We were approached by the officials of Indian Oil Corporation a few weeks back and showed their interest to train the prison inmates in sports activities, as they have the talent pool. Inmates in the state will be trained from carrom, chess, and volleyball, which will begin once the pandemic dies down a bit."
Speaking more about rehabilitation, Kulkarni added that recreational rehabilitation will help them in economic rehabilitation, providing self-sufficiency once they are out of the prisons. The initiative is also trying to accommodate female prisoners once they get a go-ahead with female coaches.
Recently, a 40-year-old man who was released after 10 years in jail, chose to make a fresh start with his salon under the state rehabilitation process. With help from the Maharashtra prison department and an NGO, Santosh Aktar paid three months' rent and bought tools for his business.