Literacy rate on rise in Tihar, aiding placement of inmates

Written by Diksha Dutta | Diksha Dutta | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 2 2012, 08:13am hrs
It is well known that lesser the literacy, more is the prevalence of crime. The picture could soon change with illiteracy in Tihar Jail, South Asias largest prison, coming down from 32% in 2010 to 7% in 2011, thanks to the various literacy programmes.

However, the percentage of post graduates in the jail still remains less than 2% and the component of graduate level inmates is between 5-7%.

The jail is taking initiatives to increase the level of education by tying up with universities like Ignou,which is helping in the job placements as well. Almost 345 inmates have been placed in the last one year with the highest package being R6,00,000 per annum.

We are aiming for a fully literate jail. We want our inmates to study till post graduate level. Till now, 597 inmates have already enrolled with Indira Gandhi National University (IGNOU) and more than 1000 with National Institutes of open schooling (NIOU), said director general (prisons) Neeraj Kumar. At present, Tihar has 12,000 inmates and 68% of them have education below class X.

The prison is encouraging students to go for higher education. If the convicts are willing to do any particular course of their own choice at a post graduate level, we encourage it by financing it through the welfare fund. Else it can also be pursued by the personal expenditure of the inmate, said Sunil Gupta, law officer and Public relations officer of Tihar Jail. More emphasis on academic education is given in adolescents and female prisoners.

With higher education, also comes the responsibility to place these convicts. In the last six months, 22 companies have visited for placements. The firms that visited Tihar this year include Vedanta Foundation, Relaxo Footwear, Haldiram, Rockland Hotel Future Manson among others.