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.

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