The pilot project, first of its kind, was launched in Nagpur and will be extended to nine other Central prisons soon, said Maharashtra Additional Director General of Police (Prisons), Dr Bhushan Kumar Upadhyaya
Nagpur: The inmates in Central Jail in Nagpur went privileged. To be specific, around 140 prisoners were given State Bank of India (SBI) ATM cards on Wednesday for use inside the premises, with plans to extend the service to all 800 prisoners of the facility. The pilot project, a venture of Maharashtra Additional Director General of Police (Prisons), Dr Bhushan Kumar Upadhyaya, was first of its kind in the State and got launched from Nagpur. The project will soon be implemented in nine jails across the State.
At the outset, Dr Bhushan Kumar Upadhyaya lit the traditional lamp to mark beginning of the special programme in which the cards were given to select inmates. The cards were distributed by the Additional DGP Dr Upadhyaya and the SBI Deputy General Manager, Nagpur Zone, B Shankar in the presence of Jail Superintendent Yogesh Desai and Assistant GM, SBI, Nagpur Zone, Rakesh Sinha.
Speakin on the occasion, Dr Upadhyaya said over 10,000 inmates in nine Central prisons across Maharashtra will be extended the facility. Nagpur has been chosen as a pilot project, he said. The inmates can swipe the cards in the canteen to purchase daily use items like soaps, hair oil, eatables etc against the payment they receive for doing works on the premises.
The inmates can also use the cards once they are released after serving their terms, Upadhyaya said adding it will inculcate a habit of savings among them. Any prisoner can spend up to Rs 2,500 per month. Their relatives can also deposit in their respective saving bank accounts up to Rs 2,500 which is the monthly upper limit for inmates, he said.
Dr Upadhyaya further exhorted the jail inmates to practice yoga in jail premises itself to keep them fit and healthy.
Upadhyaya also said prisoners practising Yoga are entitled for remission up to a maximum of three months. “Since Yoga has been adopted by the United Nations and Yoga Day is celebrated on June 21, the facility is being extended to them,” he said and added the ace Yoga Guru Ramdeobaba will be invited to Nagpur Central Jail to teach yoga to inmates like he was invited to Mumbai and Pune jails. He thanked the SBI authorities for extending ATM card facilities to inmates in Nagpur jail.
The SBI Deputy General Manager, Nagpur Zone, B Shankar said the SBI might tie up for similar smart card facility in other Central Prisons in the State.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had visited the Central Prison here on June 21 last and practised Yoga with the inmates.