Inspired by fellow prisoner, 8 convicts pursue arts degree

Inspired by fellow prisoner,  8 convicts pursue arts degree

Over the years, the Central Prison, Hindalga has been in the limelight for all the wrong reasons with inmates involving in various illegal activities with the alleged support of officails.

However, the jail is now turning into a reformation and education centre with prisoners pursuing academic degrees.

Eight life convicts, including a woman, who have been languishing in the prison for the past five to 13 years are now pursuing their BA degree course through distance education programme of the Karnataka State Open University, Mysore.

On Wednesday, the prisoners appeared for their last paper, political science. The degree exams of the Karnataka State Open University began earlier this month and the convicts appeared for all the papers for which arrangements were made at the Maratha Mandal College here. Police personnel escorted them frorm the prison to the examination centre.

Sixty-two-year-old Beerappa Deshnoor, Maruti Vadyalkar, Subhash Valepurkar, Umesh Gunjikar, Subramanya, Mahesh, Anand Karjanagi and Uma Hiremath are the convicts who took their exams. Maratha Mandal College principal M J Tandalekar said the convicts wrote their exams along with regular students and this had made them feel
better.

Inspiration

Being life convicts, pursuing studies has given them a new hope in life as they intend to forget their past and look towards a new future and a better life. Prisoners said that it was fellow convict Dharnesh Kumar, a post-graduate law student, who inspired them to pursue studies.

Mahesh, a life convict lodged in the prison for the last 12 years and who took his BA exams said, “pursuing education has given me an opportunity to adopt a different approach to life. I want to forget my past and live with my family and friends.

The government should consider our release.” Uma Hiremath, the lone woman convict who appeared for the exams, said: “We are all victims of circumstances and landed up in prison. Even prisoners want to live life like normal persons. We want to reform ourselves and education is a means to it.”

“There are many prisoners who have been in jail without trial for a long time. After H D Kumaraswmay’s tenure as chief minister, no government has released the convicts for good conduct. The new government should give a thought to it,” she said.  

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