Prisoners To Get Programmes On Spirituality

Prisoners To Get Programmes On Spirituality
2 Jan 2009, 0214 hrs IST, M Ramya, TNN

CHENNAI: Lectures, bhajans and plays related to spirituality that’s what the department of prisons has lined up for the inmates of Puzhal prison.

The volunteers of Sri Sathya Sai Organisations put together a programme for inmates of the prison to celebrate the New Year. “The volunteers staged a play on Buddha’s life, which showed how love can transform a person. The play had a deep impact on the inmates, so we thought that if Sri Sai Baba could talk to the prisoners, it would have a greater impact,” said R Nataraj, director-general of prisons. Sai Baba is expected to visit the state in a couple of months and the department is planning to invite him to the prison.

Sri Sathya Sai Organisations had earlier conducted similar programmes before the prison was shifted to its present location in Puzhal. “We realised that if we introduce spiritual ideas into the human mind, it brings about a change in any person. So we organised this programme for the inmates of the prison,” said N Ramani, state president of the organisation. People in the age group of 18-35 years were involved in the programme at Puzhal, which included a one-and-a-half hour bhajan session. The organisation also distributed 4,500 laddoos to the inmates of all three prisons on the Puzhal campus and donated a set of books on Sai Baba’s life and principles to the prison library.

“The department showed interest in having regular programmes. We are ready to prepare the agenda if they send us a written proposal. We know that they wouldn’t want to be lectured, so we would be conveying messages by staging plays and screening movies,” Ramani said. The programmes would first be conducted at Puzhal. Later, volunteers from other centres would be asked to attend these programmes to learn how they are conducted and take them to other jails and sub-jails in their areas, he said.

On December 31, the inmates also got to listen to Swami Amarananda, a yogi from Ranchi associated with the Yogadha Sathsanga Dhyana Kendra, who spoke on meditation. The centre also donated 135 books on meditation in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Gujarati to the Puzhal prison library.

On December 25 in a first-of-its-kind initiative the department allowed inmates of all eight Central prisons, sub jails and Borstal schools to meet their family members between 9 am and 4.30 pm. Being a national holiday, the prison is usually closed to outsiders on December 25.

Reference

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