Eager beaver Puzhal inmates pass class 12 exam with flying colours

This is the time of the year when Puzhal inmates make news for good reason. While several hundred inmates are spending their time daydreaming, some of them have changed the prison into a temple of learning.
Eager beaver Puzhal inmates pass class 12 exam with flying colours
File photo of Puzhal Central prison


While the inmates can learn several vocational training like candle making, tailoring, etc, they can choose to get themselves educated, too. A total of 41 prisoners appeared for the exam out of which 35 prisoner from nine jails across Tamil Nadu have cleared the class 12 exam to the astonishment of rest of their inmates. From the infamous Puzhal prison, six inmates have cleared the HSC exam this year.
If anyone conceives that reforming ourselves is the real purpose of education, the prisoners have got it more than the others. They broke all social stigma constructed around them by educating themselves. These aspiring prisoners are deprived of basic amenities and conducive environment.
The details of the toppers of board exam are not disclosed, but prison authorities happily informed that Tamimun Ansari of Puzhal prison, who secured 470 marks, is the top scorer among all prisoners in Tamil Nadu. Thangaraj, Coimbatore jail inmate came second with 464 marks, and the third position was taken by a Vellore prison inmate who secured 352 marks.
When DTNext enquired about the training the prisoners receive for the exams, librarian said, “The prisoners don’t have access to class rooms or well-informed teachers. The inmates help one another to understand the subject, as some of the prisoners are little educated. To the interest of many, some prisoners have completed graduation and post-graduation through distance education.” Besides their studies, prisoners are taught yoga by volunteers of ‘Science of living’ and ‘Art of living’ organizations, to lead a peaceful and balanced life. Believing that education is the only way to reform convicts, prison authorities have conducted several motivational programmes to make the inmates realise the importance of education. One of the convicts thanked Jail Superintendent Senthil Kumar for his concern about the education of prisoners.
The in charge of prison school, Prakash said, “It was highly challenging to identify their learning difficulties and address it. Rajendran, a social activist, has been helping prison authorities in organising programmes to cater the educational requirement of prisoner for past 10 years.”  Out of seven prisoners in Puzhal who appeared for class 12 exam, six got through. The Superintendent told that the aspiring prisoners can perform like regular students if they are provided with proper facilities.
Being motivated by jail officials, several prisoners took up books to start their life anew. Sanjiv Gandhi, librarian and one of the in charges of Puzhal prison school said, “The prison library contains around 5,000 books to provide prisoners good reading time.” He fondly recalled one of the prisoners telling him, "Once I was addicted to drugs, but now I am addicted to books.” 

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