When inmates took the initiative to reform lives - The New Indian Express

When inmates took the initiative to reform lives

Published: 11th June 2013 07:56 AM

Last Updated: 11th June 2013 07:56 AM

Thirty inspired and transformed prisoners who are currently serving a jail-term are giving a new ray of hope to other prison inmates in Karnataka by conducting trauma and stress relief programs of The Art of Living.

The thirty inmates came to meet Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder, The Art of Living on 9th June, 2013 and  sought his guidance on how to lead the transformation programs further in prisons across the State.

"Having received the leadership training, these 30 inmates have been instrumental in transforming lives of over 2,500 inmates across seven  prisons in Karnataka, viz., Bangalore central Jail and prisons in Bidar, Bellary, Gulbarga, Bijapur, Dharwad, Mysore," said Nagaraj, Project Director, Prisons programs for Karnataka.

Inspiring them to continue the good work for nation building, Sri Sri said, “We should work towards building trust and bringing about human values in people.”

Lauding the efforts of The Art of Living, S Ravi, IPS, Deputy Inspector General, State Police said, “Their transformation is comprehensive. We have seen a lot of difference in the general well-being of prisoners through these programs.They were habitual offenders but once they were transformed through The Art of Living programs, they became more productive and their all round personality changed. Further, they were imparted skill training. Now, they would be absorbed in society easily without any social stigma. The training, which empowered them as yuvacharas or youth volunteers, set off a chain reaction wherein they began training other inmates.”

Sharing his experience, Mohan Kumar, an inmate said, “After the program, I felt the pent up stress of 12 years disappear. Yoga and meditation brought immense will power in me. My outlook towards life changed and mind became more focused.  I was given the responsibility of managing meals for  all 4000 inmates in the jail. Training other inmates makes me happy and satisfied when I see the change in them.”

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