Gandhi Jayanthi at jail to be special this year - The New Indian Express

Gandhi Jayanthi at jail to be special this year

Published: 30th September 2013 11:16 AM

Last Updated: 01st October 2013 12:43 PM

Creativity can bloom anywhere, even behind bars. The creativity of the inmates of District Jail, Poojappura, has finally blossomed in the form of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi.

 While Venu, a 35-year-old hailing from the district, was the ‘master craftsman’ of the statue, five others assisted him in the work.

 “Gandhiji viewed correctional service as something to make a person socially healthy. We use several techniques towards this end. Using their skills is one of the ways. Venu was given permission to make anything of his choice when we came to know that he had the skill. He opted for Gandhiji,’’ said jail superintendent S Santhosh.

 Work on the statue with a surrounding wall was completed in two months. “I was a mason in my place and used to do some craft works. It is boring to live idly in the prison. Keeping oneself engaged is a great relief. I feel great satisfaction over completing the work,” said Venu, whose stay in jail has one more year left.

 The work cost only Rs 15,000 as it incurred no labour charge. The prisoners also made a big flower basket - ‘pookkuda’ -  along with the statue.

 The Mahatma Gandhi statue is on the courtyard of the prison to which the main entrance opens, while the flower basket is in the garden in front of the cell block. 

 The prisoners, who engaged in the work, were given photos of Gandhiji and they made the statue by observing the images.

 Till now, only Central Prison, Kannur, had a statue of Gandhiji made by the inmates. “It was made years ago. We are second only to the Kannur Central Prison in having a  statue of Gandhiji made by the inmates. In jails, the life and messages of Gandhiji have greater value,” said Santhosh.

 Of the total 309 inmates of the jail, there are only 14 convicted prisoners while the others are remand prisoners.

 Gandhi Jayanthi is one among the nine days in which the inmates are given ‘sadya’ (feast). Usually, the jail celebrates Gandhi Jayanthi with speeches of Gandhians.

This year, the celebration will have a unique function - the unveiling of the statue of the Father of the Nation. Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor will unveil the statue at 8 am. V Sivankutty MLA will preside over.

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