2011, eventful year for Tihar

Jail lodges celebrity prisoners like A Raja, Kalmadi 

With Anna Hazare's protest at Tihar jail and dozen of high profile people flocking to the prison at the same time, 2011 can be recalled as the most eventful year in the history of Delhi’s prisons, said  director general (Tihar Jail) Neeraj Kumar.

Refering to former Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi, former CWG Organising Committee Chief Suresh Kalmadi and several other accused in misappropriation of CWG funds and 2G spectrum allocation case, he said, “While special care was taken to segregate them from the 'hardcore' criminals, it was also ensured that no discrimination in terms of facilities provided to the political topshots and other inmates, took place.

The security arrangements made in this regard were also appreciated by the director general.

Tihar the epicentre

Kumar also recalled the month of August, when Tihar became the epicentre of the Anna Hazare movement for a couple of days, owing to his arrest and then refusal to leave the prison.

“Huge crowd had gathered at our gates disrupting normal lives while Anna Hazare sat on dharna in the prison headquarters.

The situation, however, was tackled tactfully and peacefully,” said Kumar showering praise on the jail staff.

According to him, the year will also be remembered for some path-breaking initiatives taken in constructive work.

 “A massive literacy drive “padho aur padhao” was started in April and by the end of 2011, the illiteracy rate had declined to 10 per cent from the earlier 40 per cent,” claimed Kumar.

He said Tihar in collaboration with the National Institute of Open Schooling and the Indira Gandhi National Open University gave an opportunity to its inmates to not only become functionally literate but  also continue their education up to post graduate level.

Inmates welcomed the jail’s move to introduce a music room in every jail.

He added the inmates who are fond of music now have a private space to play, sing and dance, while Flying Souls, a band in Jail Number 3 is already making waves.

The Tihar authorities also have revised wages of convicts this year and as a result, the inmates will be able to carry home more money now.

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