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Prisoners, artists celebrate Human Rights Day

Staff Reporter
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Inmates of correctional homes seen during an art workshop at Victoria Memorial hall in Kolkata on Monday.— Photo: Sushanta Patronobish
Inmates of correctional homes seen during an art workshop at Victoria Memorial hall in Kolkata on Monday.— Photo: Sushanta Patronobish

Twenty convicts from two correctional homes in the city participated in a two-day art workshop along with 15 other mainstream artists and sculptors here on Monday at the Victoria Memorial lawns to mark Human Rights Day, which is celebrated across the world on December 10.

The workshop was organised by Flight to Harmony Foundation, an NGO, in association with the Directorate of Correctional Services of West Bengal. The latter has been using art as a therapy for the convicts.

West Bengal Correctional Services Inspector-General Ranvir Kumar said in a press release: “We have been using creativity as a therapy and art is one of them. The number of students in the art and craft schools in our correctional homes are growing and the modern art gallery in Alipore Central Correctional Home allows the civil society to see the creativity of these inmates.”

“Inmates-turned-artists have been participating in several art workshops within the confines of correctional homes. Art camps like this will further inspire them towards a positive outlook on life,” Mr. Kumar said in the release.

NGO founder Chitta Dey taught art in several correctional homes in the State since 2007 as an experiment and soon became popular among the inmates.

“Our aim is to boost the confidence and channelise the energy, talent and time of the inmates productively, which will facilitate the process of rehabilitation. Many former convicts joined the mainstream and have established themselves as sculptors and painters. Art is a form which helps an individual in the process of integrating in the society,” said Mr. Dey.

Apart from this workshop, the works of the inmates have been displayed in several other exhibitions across the country and in the State, he said.


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