Guwahati, October 25, 2018: Prison Ministry India, a national voluntary organization working for the welfare of prisoners for over three decades, is currently holding its 12th national conference in Guwahati, Assam.
The conference on the theme, ‘You are not alone,’ began on October 24 at Cathedral Church, Guwahati.
More than 500 delegates from across the country shared their experiences and interacted with each during the conference that ends on October 26.
They also exchanged ideas with government representatives and academicians to prepare plans for the next four years.
Talking to the reporters on the eve of the conference, former chairman of the Prison Ministry India Bishop Peter Remigius noted northeastern India was holding the conference for the first time.
Established in 1986, Prison Ministry India reaches out to thousands of prisoners languishing in all the 1,401 prisons in India with the intention to reform them.
“We will have a series of interactive and brain-storming sessions, and will also exchange views and ideas with the government and leading academicians of the region on the issues concerning prison inmates and convicts,” Bishop Remigius said.
Prison Ministry India has rehabilitated several thousands of released prisoners during the last 26 years of its existence.
Around 6,000 persons including volunteers, supporters and well-wishers have very enthusiastically committed their expertise and energy into bringing about hope and quality of life in to the lives of so many hopeless and helpless prisoners in our society.
Prison Ministry India believes that every prisoner has an ardent desire and a right to change and lead a normal life like any other citizen, Bishop Remigius said.
It also believes that society too has its responsibility towards the prisoners and their families. “But in reality, it is found that society is not prepared to accept the prisoners but condemns them by saying that a once a criminal, a person is always considers as a criminal,” the prelate said.
Father Sebastian Vadakumpadan, the ministry’s national champion, said it primarily offers education, moral guidance, job skills and spiritual animation to the prisoners. The ministry also equips prisoners psychologically and physically for their post-imprisonment period to be spent creatively and fruitfully.
“We also provide rehabilitation facilities by means of transit, halfway homes, apart from establishing offices and other institutions necessary and useful for the above objectives,” he said.
According to the Prison Ministry India, around 419,623 prisoners languish in the Indian jails and more than 60 percent of them are undergoing trial.
In Assam, more than 8,000 prisoners languish in 31 prisons and half of them are undertrails.