Cricket tournament for women convicts in Bengal

The tournament's aim is to help the convicts to be able to blend into the mainstream society. Representative image.

Glitzy stadium cricket has crossed over the high walls of jails in West Bengal.

Two central correctional homes of the state have decided to start a cricket tournaments for women convicts.

The tournament's aim is to help the convicts to be able to blend into the mainstream society.

With the former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly hailing from Bengal, the state is no stranger to cricket frenzy.

But the players of the tournament, which was inaugurated on Sunday at the Dum Dum Central Correctional Home in Kolkata, are unlike any other cricket stars.

The women convicts taking part in the tournament include those who are charged with crimes such as sedition, infiltration and murder.

Apart from Dum Dum Central Correctional Home, Presidency Central Correctional Home will also organise a similar tournament.

The initiative has brought a refreshing change to the monotonous prison lives of these women.

For instance Azra, a Pakistani citizen who has been serving a sentence for infiltration at the Dum Dum Central Correctional Home, is now more focused on honing her batting techniques instead of brooding in her cell.

Mampi, another convict in the same correctional home is keen on taking as many wickets as she can.

Some inmates from Bangladesh too are taking part in the tournament.

“Bringing convicts back to the mainstream society is one of the key objectives of correctional homes. The cricket tournament for women inmates is our humble effort to contribute to the purpose,” Ujjal Biswas, minister of correctional administration, told DH.

According to a source in correctional administration department, the name of the tournament, Alpana Cup, has an interesting history behind it.

Recently, an inmate of the correctional home Alpana Mondol died of an heat attack.

“She (Alpana) used to be very active in keeping the jail premises neat and clean. So we had named the tournament after her to honor her contribution,” a senior official of the department said.

Four teams will take part in the tournament which will conclude in February.

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