BHOPAL: Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s saying ‘Hate the sin, not the sinner’, convicted inmates of Narsinghpur Central Jail in Madhya Pradesh are writing letters seeking forgiveness to families who were affected by their crime.
More than 200 inmates of the jail who are undergoing jail terms after being convicted in murder, rape, drug smuggling and other criminal cases have already written to such families. The Letter of Forgiveness mission, which is being done on the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, began on Diwali. It is slowly gathering momentum among all convicted inmates of the jail, which houses around 1,000 inmates.
“We started this initiative on Diwali to tell families who were affected by our crime that while everyone cleans dirt from their house on Diwali, we’ve started cleaning our inner self by not only repenting our crime, but also saying sorry from our heart to those lives which plunged into darkness due to our acts,” said a murder convict.
Another murder convict, added, “if these letters strike a chord with those for whom it’s written, it would help us live harmoniously as austere citizens with everyone in the society after completing the jail term.”
Many letters have already been posted to the victim families with a hope that those families might have lit diyas (lamps) of forgiveness for us in their hearts, said an inmate convicted in an NDPS case.
Jail Superintendent Shephali Tiwari, who is driving the initiative, asserted that even criminals deserve an opportunity to plead forgiveness. “Our country has emotional and forgiving people, for which this initiative was started to ensure that after the convict serves the jail term, he should get a chance to live harmoniously in the society without any bitterness,” the jail superintendent said.
Tiwari added that the initiative is now extended to under trials and convict inmates who are writing to their families assuring them of quitting bad habits and never taking to crime again.