By Khyati Pathak:
We generally tend to ignore the realities of prisons. Not many of us (outside prisons that is) know what it is like to live inside a prison. Even fewer people actually want to find out.
Our perceptions of prison existences have been moulded by journals, memoirs (generally by prison inmates) and word of mouth. The common perception is that the general conditions in prisons are abysmal. Moreover, food and security facilities are pathetic. Hygiene is non-existent and life is never the same after serving a prison sentence.
However, nowadays, prison conditions seem to be changing for the better. In fact, they are gradually becoming correctional centres. Moreover, jail inmates no longer have to perform only manual labour, during their prison sentences.
In fact, prisoners today are given vocational training or are given lessons in alternative education. Not only does such training give them hope for their future, it also gives them an opportunity to honestly earn their livelihood, after serving their sentences.
One such initiative has been taken by the authorities in Kerala’s Poojappura Central Prison, recently.
With the efforts of the superintendent of Poojappura prison, an a building in an old unused quarter near the prison compound will be renovated and converted into a parlour, exclusively for men. Here, civilians will be able to avail services at cheaper rates.
This venture is part of the various rehabilitation initiatives taken by the state authorities for the prisoners in the state. This initiative is second of its kind – the first one took place in Central Prison, Kannur. The initiative will be run only by the inmates. To start with, 25 prisoners will be trained in beautification courses, and then, others will join in.
Given the steep rise in demand for beauticians across the state, the authorities are hopeful that these skills will lead to the employment of these people, once their jail-times are over. Recently, the woman inmates of Tihar Jail were also taught sewing, stitching and tailoring.
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Image used for representational purposes only.