Twenty-nine-year-old Siddharth Jaitley knew that his hopes of earning a livelihood and leading a dignified life again could never transform into reality when he was sent to Tihar Jail three years ago on charges of kidnapping and murder.
What he didn’t know was that these hopes had already started taking shape the moment he enrolled in Indira Gandhi National Open University’s (Ignou) master’s programme in public administration at the university’s study centre in Tihar Central Jail. The credit goes to Ignou’s “free education for prisoners” initiative, many like Siddharth hold an appointment letter from a leading company.
“When I landed in jail, I was in trauma and depression and everything was ruined for me. But now, due to this campus interview there is a ray of hope that whenever I get out I can earn my livelihood respectfully,” says an ecstatic Siddharth, who will be working as a marketing executive with Agrawal Movers and Packers once he is released within six months.
“Forty-six inmates were chosen by prison authorities for the placement drive as they fulfilled three criteria. Firstly, they had impeccable conduct inside the jail where they utilised their time to gain education and vocational skills. Secondly, they all expect to be released within a year or so, and finally, they were keen to rehabilitate themselves and lead a new life,” DG (prisons), Tihar Jail, Neeraj Kumar said.
Total 6,579 inmates have enrolled since 1994 for various distance learning programmes. Asian Age