Tiruchirapalli

Prisoners get a chance to interact with families

Prisoners in Tiruchi Central Prison have been allowed to make video calls to their families as visitors will not be allowed on the campus on Pudukottai Road until the 21-day lockdown enforced in view of the COVID-19 pandemic is lifted. Authorities have specially purchased Smartphones for this purpose.

Speaking to The Hindu, a senior prison official said the prisoners were visibly unhappy after the main gate of the prison was locked on March 17. “They began to have concerns about their family members, especially about aged parents and grandparents,” he said. Although the prison has a telephone booth, many longed for face-to-face interaction, he said adding, some began to worry that their families were lying about their well-being during phone conversations.

So the authorities decided to buy two Smartphones on Wednesday and have put them for use by allowing the prisoners to talk to their family members on video calls. “We did not want to bother the government for more funds in these troubled times and used the money available for prisoners’ care,” the official said.

The authorities fed the phone with listed and verified phone numbers of family members of the over 1,400 prisoners.

An individual schedule for each prisoner had since been made. They would be allowed to use the video calling application for five minutes, thrice a week, the official said. The officials have also taken steps to ensure personal distancing and cleanliness at the prison by providing the prisoners with soaps and hand sanitisers.

Meanwhile, some prisoners have also utilised the tailoring training they received earlier this year to make face masks. “We are selling them for ₹10 each. They will also be distributed to all police personnel. We’ve planned to make some for healthcare providers at hospitals,” he said.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 8:21:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/prisoners-get-a-chance-to-interact-with-families/article31195896.ece

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