Inmates of nine central prisons to be trained in painting and sculpture

The Prison Department will train inmates serving long terms in nine central prisons in painting and sculpture.

The initiative is being facilitated through a tie-up with G. Chandrasekharan, retired principal of College of Fine Arts, Chennai, who is now working with Guru Chandra Trust.

Mr. Chandrasekharan completed preliminary discussions with Additional Director-General of Police (Prisons) J.K. Tripathy for formalising the arrangements, and the courses will start within the next few days.

Mr. Chandrasekharan, also known as Chandru, is roping in his former colleagues and their postgraduate students, numbering over 30, for the project.

The aim is to offer a three-year course to inmates who have a minimum of five more years of sentence and equip them with skills useful in interior and exterior designing, services which have been witnessing a growing demand.

Also on the cards is training in computer-aided designing, which has a huge demand in the textile industry, Mr. Chandrasekharan said.

Sources in the Department said several industries functioned in the central prisons, turning out a wide range of products that are supplied to government departments and marketed through Prison Bazaar.

Officials pointed out that the talents of inmates should not go waste. Keeping their minds occupied would help to mellow their emotions, besides helping them overcome their separation from their families.

When the time and energy of the convicts were channelled properly, their chances of getting acquainted with or influenced by hardened criminals would be eliminated.

The training would also help the inmates turn a new leaf after release, becoming a self-employed or an employer, overcoming the social stigma.

To begin with, a batch of 15-20 inmates would go through this training in the Puzhal 1 and Puzhal 2, Vellore, Cuddalore, Tiruchi, Palayamkottai, Madurai, Salem and Coimbatore central prisons.

More In: Tamil Nadu | National