Nagpur: Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of peace and non-violence is often practiced among the people belonging to same school of thought.
However Gandhian thoughts are often echoed behind the bars in jails where dreaded criminals, including murders, rapists, naxalites, dacoits, con men, smugglers, drug suppliers, burglars, pickpockets and even those sentenced to gallows are subjected to these thoughts to bring about good human beings in them. While it may come as a surprise to many, it turned out that most of the inmates excel in Gandhian study.
In similar such exam conducted on the eve of Gandhi Jayanti on October 1 last year, top rankers were felicitated with a medal, certificate and a Khadi handkerchief, at the function organized on Nagpur Central Jail premises. Sahyog Trust’s Ravindra Bhusari, who has been instrumental in organizing this exam every year since 2006 informed that all of examinees were undergoing various jail terms and were awarded prizes for excelling in the Gandhian Thought. The exam was jointly conducted by Mumbai’s Sarvoday Mandal and city’s NGO Sahyog Trust.
Among the prize winners are Ayush Pugaliya who was awarded a rare triple lifer for abducting and brutally killing eight-year-old Kush Katariya. Those who appeared for the exam included Gopal Binjewar, convicted for merciless lynching four members of Khairlanji family in 2006 and undergoing lifer, and Gaus Ali alias Raja Waris Ali, who made a sensational escape from the central jail premises.
Over 200 jail birds appeared in the exam in their regular outfit. The prizes were divided into three categories — those on death row, women convicts and others that included life-term convicts and under trials. In Group A, all three death row convicts — Raju Shinde, Narayan Choudhari and Rakesh Kamble, secured first, second and third prizes respectively, while Shatruganh Meshram was given consolation.
In Group B — Pugaliya grabbed first rank, along with Firoz Pathan and Vaibhav Tijare, on second and third positions respectively. From women’s category — Kiran Uke and Pramila Gongale stood first and second.
All were felicitated by jail superintendent Rani Bhosale and subordinate Vikas Lajanwar. The jail officials acted as invigilators during the exam.
Earlier on May 3, the Supreme Court rejected claims of a rapist-murderer Vasanta Dupare that he was reformed after reading the Gandhian philosophy, while confirming his confirmed death sentence for barbaric act of raping and brutally killing a four-year-old girl Muskan on April 3, 2008.
Bhusari announced that 2018 would be celebrated as the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, and all the participating prisoners would be gifted with Khadi clothes. “The objective is to reform the lives of these inmates and help them to lead a normal life with their family. The exam seeks to introduce our prisoners to Gandhian thoughts, his ideals and teachings, as a way of reforming them. All of them see it as an opportunity to do something good and improve,” said Bhusari.