Prisoners to be taught yoga daily

Trained jail staff and select convicts are engaged to handle classes

August 17, 2015 12:00 am | Updated March 29, 2016 03:46 pm IST - TIRUCHI:

Prisoners practising yoga at the Central Prison in Tiruchi on Saturday.

Prisoners practising yoga at the Central Prison in Tiruchi on Saturday.

Inmates lodged in the Central Prison and the Special Prison for Women here would be taught yoga every day within the jail complex in an effort to bring about a transformation in their physical and mental make-up.

Instead of engaging tutors from outside, the Prison Department has decided to utilise handpicked jail staff and select convicts who underwent yoga training at Chennai recently for this exercise.

A couple of Grade –II Jail Warders and equal number of life convicts in the Tiruchi Central Prison were trained in yoga by the Art of Living Foundation at the Central Prison, Puzhal in Chennai for a period of 25 days from July 16 to August 9.

The trainers have been split into ‘A’ and ‘B’ groups to conduct yoga sessions for the prisoners lodged in the Tiruchi Central Prison.

The ‘A’ group yoga trainers comprising of a Grade –II Warder and a lifer would handle yoga classes for the convicts, while the ‘B’ group trainers would organise sessions for the remand prisoners.

The yoga classes would be conducted daily from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. at the Central Prison utilising the trained jail staff and lifers, prison authorities told The Hindu .

A separate hall within the sprawling Central Prison premises is where the yoga classes would be conducted every morning, the authorities said adding that the prisoners would be trained in batches.

The sessions would be conducted separately for convicts serving lengthy terms and remand prisoners, the authorities said.

Abutting the Tiruchi – Pudukottai national highway, the Tiruchi Central Prison accommodates over 1,000 male prisoners – convicts, under trials and remand prisoners, while the Special Prison for Women accommodates over 300 women inmates. The authorities said yoga classes would be conducted for women prisoners daily as well.

The whole objective of conducting daily yoga sessions for prisoners is to enable them get over negative thoughts and depression which could impact their physical and mental health in the long run, said a prison official.

The sessions are an initiative to improve their personality while in jail which would help them to live along with the society after their release, the official added. Yoga classes, in both prisons here, commenced on the Independence Day.

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