E-learning for Tihar's women inmates

The 600 women inmates at Tihar Jail have experienced a boost to their self confidence in the few months since the launch of an e-library in the 6A ward of the jail. A young girl, presently an undertrial, easily slips into the role of a librarian. 

The e-library has been set up by G4S India and India Vision Foundation which is helmed by Kiran Bedi, a former in-charge of Tihar Jail. “In jail these women have hardly anything to do.This initiative therefore will engage them in something positive. Most of these women live in jail with their children,” 

Rupan Sidhu, director of corporate affairs, G4S India, told Metrolife. Reportedly, almost 80 per cent of the inmates in Tihar are undertrials.

Sapna Bhati (name changed), a Tihar Jail inmate, said, “I enjoy reading in the e-library. It is informative and interesting. Though it’s just the beginning but I find it very helpful. I hope to devote an hour daily between 4-5pm, as it is very difficult to spend time in the evening.”

Rani Singh (name changed), who claims to be a dedicated reader said, “When I came to know about the e-library at Tihar, I was quite excited, as I love reading. I am fond of Indian and Western literature.”

The library is equipped with six computers and two tablets and will be run with the help of Bedi’s NGO, India Vision. Most of the books that have been uploaded on the computers are novels, following no particular curriculum and solely for recreation and providing computer skills to these women.

“The e-library is one of the projects which every prison can and should have. It changes the lives of the inmates and sensitises them further. It is cost effective and life rewarding,” Bedi, who during her stint as Inspector General, Prisons, won appreciation for initiating several reforms in the prison, said.

Hopeful about the success of the initiative, she said, “Such initiatives are required in the country to make inmates independent and overpower the negativity. Especially, in the case of women inmates, it is much needed, to bring positivity in the family life after their tenure as inmate is completed.” 

The library is an effort to empower and help women inmates to read, learn and make them tech- friendly. It was inaugurated in October. Apart from this e-initiative, G4S also supports a crèche for children of women inmates at the prison complex. 

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