Tihar Prisons authorities on Wednesday launched the National Literacy Mission Programme of the Ministry of Human Resource Development at the jail to educate and empower prisoners and prevent them from becoming second time offenders when freed.
Recognising illiteracy as one of the reasons for crime, Tihar jail authorities decided to launch a literacy drive for all its adolescent and female inmates.
Inaugurated by the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court Dipak Misra, this programme will impart functional literacy to all illiterate inmates whereby they will be self-reliant in reading, writing and numeric.
“An analysis done of inmates revealed that illiteracy and crime were directly linked. Those illiterates, who did not find employment, ultimately got dragged to criminal activities and landed in prison. To stop them from being second time offenders we decided to make all inmates educated enough to be self-reliant and empowered when out of prison,” Neeraj Kumar, DG, Tihar Prisons said.
As the programme was launched in Jail No 3, 21 volunteers including inmates were given teaching kits in order to function as volunteer teachers for other inmates.
Chief justice Dipak Misra said, “Many of those lodged in prisons are not educated. Many might not have even committed the crime and landed in the jails. Just because they were not educated enough they could not express their innocence well in the court and thus became victims. All inmates should pledge to study now so that they can benefit from it when they are freed.”
Harpal Singh (46), an engineer lodged at Rohini jail, who received the teaching kit, said, “We were trained for imparting education to other inmates. When I was out of prisons I used to teach my children and now I will help my co-inmates become self-sufficient.
Superintendent of Jail No 3 M.K. Diwedi said, “Through this programme we are trying to make them self-reliant. At least they will not have to give a thumb impression for a mulaaqat (meeting), they will not have to pay others for writing applications for them and at the same time it opens up a whole new world of knowledge and awareness for them.”