Dr. Avnish Jolly, CHANDIGARH JULY 22 :In a unique gesture, the Punjab government today formulated a scheme to utilize the optimum potential of the inmates lodged in the various jails of the state to impart skill development training to them on one hand and to provide employment opportunities on the other. A decision to this effect was taken by the Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal during a meeting with the top functionaries of the departments of Jail, Technical Education, Industry and Employment Generation here this morning. The Chief Minister asked the senior officers of these departments to have detailed interaction with the representatives of the industry to ascertain the quantum of requisite job work to be undertaken by the inmates.
Mr. Badal cited an example of hosiery and woolen products in Ludhiana where the services of inmates in local Borstan and Lady’s jails could be utilized besides exploring the possibilities to impart training to them as per the requirements of the industry. He further asked the officers to offer regular counseling to the inmates in view of their aptitude to enable them to choose the vocational occupation of their choice. He said that the services of the experts from the colleges, universities especially from the Punjab Technical University and other institutions of repute could be availed of for exploring their capabilities and capacities.
Mr. Badal also asked the officers to develop facilities for the training of these inmates in jails in collaboration with the local industry. The Chief Minister also pointed out that even the state government could also install permanent machinery and infrastructure for the training of the inmates in consultation with state technical education department. Special training modules could be prepared by the technical education department for the benefits of the inmates.
Mr. Badal said: "The underlying objective of this scheme is to bring inmates in the mainstream of the society thereby keeping them involved in the vocational activities". Later Mr. Badal also reviewed the position of the agriculture farm measuring 178 acres in the Nabha jail to develop it into hi-tech seed farm for the production of foundation seed of wheat and paddy under the direct supervision and guidance of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Ludhiana.
The Chief Minister assured the jail administration that state government would provide all possible financial and technical support to make it one of the leading foundation seed farms in the state on the pattern of PAU. Mr. Badal also asked the state agriculture department and PAU authorities to depute its technical staff to impart know-how and other inputs to them for the production of high quality seeds.
Prominent amongst others who were present in the meeting including Principal Secretary Technical Education Tejinder Kaur, Principal Secretary Home Dr.BC Gupta, ADGP Prisons Mohamad Izhar Alam, Principal Secretary Industries SS Channy, AIG Prisons Roop Kumar Arora, Special Principal Secretary to Chief Minister KJS Cheema, Mr.Gagandeep Singh Brar and Mr.AK Mahajan (both Additional Principal Secretaries to Chief Minister).