Thursday, 22 March 2018

Water day, action oriented.

Today on Water Day RajNivas has organised a collaborative sharing on Water issues a presentation by CE, PWD on Water issues.

The event shall be conducted in the form of a Panel Discussion to ensure due interaction with audiences comprising a cross-section of society of experts, stake holders and concerned citizens. 

The members of Panel are two Honble Ministers, Agriculture and LAD, besides senior officers of Govt, namely, CS, DC, CE, Sec to LG, CE and Director LAD. 

I will personally moderate the panel discussion and declare the summation recvd from the Rapporteur. 
We hope to arrive at an action plan of individual as collective responsibility to provide for Water Rich Puducherry...

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Music Therapy inside Prison

At Bhondsi prison in Gurugram, with the guidance and support of India Vision Foundation, a few of the male inmates have formed a music group in which they compose and perform songs and religious tunes. A few of the inmates believe that joining this group helps them get released earlier since it connects them closer to god. This may be true but what is true for certain is the positive correlation between music and positive effects on the inmates' emotion and behavior. The inmates tend to experience anxiety, depression and poor social relationships. Music therapy has been proven to help with the treatment and feeling of all of those sensations and situations.

The inmates' music groups at Bhondsi Prison rehearse at the vocational training center inside the prison, which is facilitated by India Vision volunteers and trainers. They are provided also with instruments necessary to practice and perform their songs at various prisons. The inmates are also encouraged to partake in the friendly performing arts 'competition' that takes place at Tihar prison in Delhi. Inmates from different prisons and states come together to perform the songs they have been practicing in front of each other as a form of motivation and inspiration for each other.

In my opinion, music therapy affirms positive thoughts in the inmates' minds and gives them something worthwhile and encouraging to concentrate and spend their time on. It is a beneficial practice started by the India Vision Foundation at the prisons they have their jurisdiction in. 


Author of the Blog - Ms. Smera Bhatia, Student, MilBurn High School, New Jersey, USA

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and does not reflect the opinion of the foundation. 

My Prison Visit Experience

I didn't know what prison would be like- I'd never been to one. I expected it to be a dull and gloomy place. Instead, once I stepped out of my car to Bhondsi prison in Gurugram, I could see colors, flags, and paintings which the inmates had made. After entering in, I was lead to the male vocational training center through a pathway next to a large region filled with greenery. This center is where a lot of the male inmates learn stitching, art and crafts, dancing, and music. I received an extremely warm welcome from all the inmates and trainers present there. I visited each of the training and practice rooms to understand the benefits the inmates received from these activities. The activities provided them with a goal, hope, motivation, and skill which they could use post release. It was refreshing to see the brave and happy front they put in the face of hardships. I also saw some of the inmates get certified in a beautician course from VLCC- since it is a skill they can use to start a business post their release.

The female vocational training center was smaller due to the population yet had similar activities as the male center such as stitching. They were creating beautiful jute bags and cotton clothes- it is a real and beneficial skill for them to learn for future job opportunities. India Vision Foundation regulates and encourages skills, such as chocolate making, being taught to the inmates. It was wonderful to see the inmates sit in adult literacy classes and sing religious songs to keep them busy and give them goals to achieve. My overall experience at the prison was delightful as I saw the high spirits the inmates held in the face of adversity. 

Author of the Blog - Ms. Smera Bhatia, Student, MilBurn High School, New Jersey, USA

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and does not reflect the opinion of the foundation. 

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Tihar Kala Abhiyaan 2017 : An innovative approach towards sensitizing society & reformation!

Tihar Kala Abhiyaan 2017 :  An innovative approach towards sensitizing society & reformation!

Why do we need those in power or in the business of affecting and impacting other people’s lives to divert their attention to the condition of the prison inmates?

Because slowly but surely the prison inmates, who hitherto remain shut and shunned, by the community they have lived in, are being recognized. A burning question is why do we really need to focus on this neglected and redundant section of the society?

It is because ultimately these very people whom we have relegated to the background from the face of the land on which we so-called pious citizens live, will ultimately, return to this very society that we all love very much.

They are criminals and they deserve to be kept away from the law abiding citizens for the good of the society was our argument. But wait how many of us really believed that? Because, one is only guilty till he is proven to be so (after a court pronounces him/her to be so).

So, many of us are very lucky that we escaped the powerful law; we managed to manipulate the system as per our convenience and those unlucky ones caught trapped in the vicious circle of “Guilty till proven to be otherwise”. How many times we have all broken the rules, found means and ways to escape the net of law and found allies who helped us to get respite from the very system about which we have lamented always.

Still, it is a new start, an auspicious beginning that someone at the higher authority has thought to give another view of those who are behind bars and give these men and women a chance to showcase their talent to the society and ask for another chance at re-living their lives. They are repentant and ready to reform themselves and asking their fellow beings to help them in the process of changing themselves. Most of them are very young and have been a victim of the circumstances in which they found themselves and one weak decision and moment of desperation led them to the prison. But now they are ready to redeem themselves. What they want is an opportunity to prove themselves.

They are now reformed and ready!

They feel that their moment of reckoning has come and what more than TIHAR Kala Abhiyaan 2017 - A chance for all of those who have been engaged in the process of changing themselves with the active support of the prison authorities and the NGO’s, who have been striving relentlessly for all these years to help these inmates adopt and learn new behaviour and skills for a new life after their release from jail.

So, it is the responsibility of all the society members and those in power to make attempts of supporting these fellow beings, who were led astray by wrong conscience and choice that landed them behind the imposing walls of the prison. But now, they are ready to break their shackles and want to cross over and make new beginnings in their lives. They are not asking for alms or any sympathy.

They are asking to be accepted, to be recognized for their talent and their willingness to seek a new living. Can we not move ahead from our bias and prejudices and help them seek a life, a chance at seeing them in new light. For this they need the support and empathy of the entire society. They will need love, acceptance, respect and trust from all of us. They will seek another chance of redemption to reclaim their life that they had once wasted for a reason that affected not only their but entire family’s very being.

The prominent society members, policy makers, civil society members, police/prison officials and judiciary members along with common citizens will have to make concerted efforts in this mission of re humanizing and restoring life. The thinking has to change and we have to move beyond the mental bars that we have constructed in our mind set about the prison inmates and come together to reshape the lives that were blemished with poor retrospection.

*Submitted by Ms. Renu Nag, who works with India Vision Foundation (IVF) as a Head Research & Training, IVF is a 23 years old not-for-profit organization engaged in the reformation, reintegration and rehabilitation of the prison inmates and welfare of their children/families of Delhi, Haryana (Gurugram/Faridabad) and Uttar Pradesh (Dasna) Prisons.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

My Prison Visit Experience of Dasna (Ghaziabad U.P) & Faridabad ( Haryana)

We went to the Dasna (Ghaziabad). Dr. Poonam Singh ma’am accompanied us along with Mr. Ravi Sir to the prison. We met theSuperintendent of Dasna prison. He allowed us to enter the Male and Female wards as well.First, we went to the crèche inside the jail. 13 children are present there along with their mothers in the jail. We talked with them and they seemed to be happy. Then we went to the youth ward, we saw the barracks, went inside it and even interacted with these inmates. They actively take part in the activities conducted by the Foundation. They have a proper routine for the day which keeps them busy.

They were encouraged by the IVF team present there and seem to have a positive response. We further went to see the female ward and met the Female warders and Mrs. Nazia who is IVF team member inside Dasnaprison. She showed us around the female ward, the barracks, activities performed by the women. We got to see stitching classes in progress and women taking part in it enthusiastically. Teaching classes are also conducted where they teach women basics of stitching.Women, who are good at it, are transferred to the superior section of learning as their grasping power is more. We had an opportunity to interact with inmates about their past and how they want to change their lives now onwards in a positive way.The male ward is very different from the female ward. Number of male inmates is around 3500 and female is only 150 so male ward is bigger in size. Even the no of activities is more in the male ward. Like they had Dancing classes, painting, wall painting, art and craft etc.The inmates also showed a recent dance performance prepared by them. It was really good to see them dance. There is also stitching classes for men as well.Also, there was hair cutting class further we got to see the Library and the computer center. They are a lot of books present, but it is not used much by the inmates. The computer center allows them to learn basics of the computer and I saw them participating eagerly. All these activities make them busy during the day till 4 and then they can do whatever they want. There is also facility to play games like football, volleyball etc. This jail has also produced some very talented people who are very good in wall paintings. They are even hired to paint the jail walls and even female wards.As compared to the female wards, the male ward is on an edge as they have most of the facilities. The female does not have library, computer center, dance classes etc. but the IVF team present there is doing a wonderful job in keeping them busy and doing something productive otherwise the inmates maybe loitering around here and there. At least when they leave the jail, they know some skill which will help them strive in the society. It depends on the person whether he wants to reform/change.

IVF foundation is just a medium to achieve it.After our Dasna visit we went to the Faridabad prison along with Dr. Poonam Singh. It is a very large jail having a lot of land. It is very spacious as compared to the Dasna prison. Also, at the entry of the jail, one can see beautiful paintings on the entry gate by inmates. We entered and met the Superintendent who gave us a brief about the jail. He then assigned a DSP who gave us a tour of the jail. It is spread across vast areas of land, it has a huge garden also. We first went to the activity center where there was a singing performance by inmates followed by a dance performance as well. We also met the IVF team member there Mr. Govind who gave detail info about the jail and the inmates. We then proceeded towards the Factory section of the jail. There was steel wire production, fan repairing, ac servicing, mechanic classes, bolt manufacturing, watch making etc. There was also adult literacy class going on. We then went to see the women barracks. Here in Faridabad jail the no of female inmates is very less i.e. only 60 so there are not much activities here. But we saw stitching classes, beautician courses, and crèche inside the jail. They were very motivated by the IVF staff and jail admiration. It is a very well planned jail, with proper functioning. There are many reasons to that namely no of inmates is less as compared to Dasna. The police manpower is more here in Faridabad. We also got to see several paintings made by the inmates, it was truly very beautiful.

Interns @India Vision Foundation : Parth Pandit, Third Year B. Tech, Electronics & Communication, Manipal University, Jaipur

“A journey of Re- Birth” - Prison Experience

Ever grateful to India Vision Foundation to give us an opportunity to watch closely “A journey of Re- Birth” - How lives transform within boundaries. 

An impeccable dedication with which India Vision Foundation in collaboration with authorities at Dasna & Faridabad District Prison are giving re-birth and shaping lives of inmates and transforming them with necessary skill sets, creating family atmosphere, looking after the children, so that when they step out, they contribute as responsible citizens.These inmates are given a platform to learn various things through a comprehensive 3 S Model approach (3S Sanskar - Value Education), Shiksha (Education), Skill - Training & Development).Both the jails are different in various aspects like location, staff, sanity, programs, etc.

Dasna Jail of Ghaziabad,is a little congested and crowded.A barrack with a space of 50 inmates occupies 65 inmates. In the case of misbehaviour, the inmates are put in segregated cells. Having seen crèches, where children of inmates are given a healthy lifestyle, Learning from the pre-school education provided to them by the coordinators from the IVF team. We were overwhelmed to witness their morning prayers and going through their scrapbook & artbook gave us immense joy.The number of female inmates is more in Dasna is more than Faridabad. IVF in collaboration with both the jail authorities provide inmates with library, yoga classes, everyday prayers, mehendi classes, painting classes, dancing classes, singing classes, craftwork, engineering work, furniture work and with basic & adult education.All the jail facilities that are available for the inmates are only open for access on payment. Also, inmates work &earn money inside prison.
The well-lit and ventilated Faridabad district jail is a huge property that provides a peaceful atmosphere for the prisoners. Female ratio is less in comparison to the male. Both the Jails are entirely different in respect to culture. The inmates performed bhangda (Punjabi dance), Sang along with music & drums, showed us their beautiful paintings and wooden clocks. There is a stitching cell that fixes cloths of the inmates. All the fans inside prisons are made by the inmates itself. In case of servicing and failing to function, the fans go back to the activity centre and the inmates fix it. To my physical observation - The prisons now days are styled as correctional institutions rather than as an institution for punishment. 

With evolution of the society and the increasing importance of human rights we have moved into an era of reformation from the era retribution.The main objective of the prison is to covert the inmates into ordinary members of the society by promoting them useful skills, education & respect for law which is very well executed by the prison project managers & coordinators of India Vision Foundation in Dasna& Faridabad jail.

Water day, action oriented.

Today on Water Day RajNivas has organised a collaborative sharing on Water issues a presentation by CE, PWD on Water issues. The event sha...