New Delhi: Tihar Prisons authorities on Wednesday launched the National Literacy Mission Programme of the
Ministry of Human Resource Development at the jail to educate
and empower prisoners and prevent them from becoming second
time offenders when freed.
Recognising illiteracy as one of the reasons for
crime, Tihar jail authorities decided to launch a literacy
drive for all its adolescent and female inmates.
Inaugurated by the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court
Dipak Misra, this programme will impart functional literacy to
all illiterate inmates whereby they will be self-reliant
in reading, writing and numeracy.
"An analysis done of inmates revealed that illiteracy
and crime were directly linked. Those illiterates, who did not
find employment, ultimately got dragged to criminal activities
and landed in prison. To stop them from being second time
offenders we decided to make all inmates educated enough to be
self-reliant and empowered when out of prison," Neeraj
Kumar, DG, Tihar Prisons said.
As the programme was launched in Jail No 3, 21
volunteers including inmates were given teaching kits in order
to function as volunteer teachers for other inmates.
Chief justice Dipak Misra said, "Many of those lodged
in prisons are not educated. Many might not have even
committed the crime and landed in the jails. Just because they
were not educated enough they could not express their
innocence well in the court and thus became victims. All
inmates should pledge to study now so that they can benefit
from it when they are freed."
Harpal Singh (46), an engineer lodged at Rohini jail,
who received the teaching kit, said, "We were trained for
imparting education to other inmates. When I was out of
prisons I used to teach my children and now I will help my
co-inmates become self-sufficient.
Superintendednt of Jail No 3 M K Diwedi said, "Through
this programme we are trying to make them self-reliant. At
least they will not have to give a thumb impression for a
mulaaqat (meeting), they will not have to pay others for
writing applications for them and at the same time it opens
up a whole new world of knowledge and awareness for them."