1,100 convicts write Gandhi exam in jails



Mumbai: Nearly 1,100 inmates of 13 jails in Maharashtra appeared for a Gandhi Peace Examination here on Sunday to mark the launch of the Gandhi Jayanti Week celebrations as India celebrated the 142nd birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, an official said.

The inmates were of Arthur Road Central Jail, Mumbai, and jails in Thane, Paithan, Ratnagiri, Nashik, Osmanabad, Nagpur, Dhule, Jalgaon, Yavatmal, Akola, Wardha, Bhandara, said Bombay Sarvodaya Mandal (BSM) chief TRK Somaiya.

BSM is a Gandhian charitable trust spreading the teachings of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, revered as the Father of the Nation in India.

"Besides, another 3,000 prisoners in jails across the state shall continue to write the examinations in small batches through the year. It provides them an opportunity to repent for their crimes and live as responsible citizens after completing their jail sentences," Somaiya said.

BSM along with the Gandhi Research Foundation has been organizing the Gandhi Peace Examination since the past few years as part of reformation programmes for prisoners.

These include meditation, Yoga, AIDS awareness, adult education and other measures.

Gandhi-based films like "Gandhi", "Do Aankhen Barah Haath", "Bapu Ne Kaha Tha", "Lage Raho Munnabhai" and many more are screened for 15,000 convicts in jails around the year, Somaiya said.

Laxman Gole, formerly a hard core criminal is now a full-time management consultant, after reading Gandhi's autobiography, "My Experiments With Truth", Somaiya said.

"Yesterday, he (Gole) delivered an inspiring lecture on 'Gandhi and Management' to the 360 students and faculty of the Chetana Institute of Management Studies, Bandra," Somaiya said.

Over 550 National Service Scheme students from 75 colleges here pledged on the occasion of the International Non-Violence Day on Sunday to walk on the path of Gandhiji, the Apostle of Peace and Non-Violence worldwide.

Students from 80 other colleges participated in different competitions like elocution, posters, essay writing and other aspects related to Gandhiji and his teachings. The programme was organized by BSM with the University of Mumbai.

The BSM's Gandhi Book Centre sold Gandhi-based books worth over Rs 20,000.

IANS