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Brush with a colourful life behind bars

- NGO starts fabric painting course for women inmates of Dhanbad divisional jail

It’s a colourful break from an otherwise drab and dull life.

A clutch of women inmates of Dhanbad divisional jail has wielded the brush to express their creative side as part of a three-month course in fabric painting.

The course, conducted by NGO Jan Shikhshan Sansthan, kicked off at the women’s ward on Tuesday. Out of 61 women inmates lodged at the jail, 18 have enrolled for the course. The trainees, including 16 undertrials, will pick up the art of painting pillows, bedsheets, table cloth and pots during the two-hour sessions from 10am to noon from Monday to Friday.

“The 18 were selected on the basis of interest shown by them. They will be also taught tailoring, which will begin in a day or two. The aim is to make the jail women independent so that they can lead a respectable life and earn their own livelihood after being released,” said jailor Satyendra Chaudhary.

Director of Jan Shikshan Sansthan Jitendra Banerjee said that all expenses would be borne by the NGO itself. “We are also planning a 150-day soft toy making course for women inmates under the modular employable skill programme. We have sought a list of such inmates, who will stay at the jail for at least 150 days after the launch of the course so that they can complete it,” he added.

Though experts from the NGO will teach the women how to make the soft toys, the certificate after completion of the course will be provided by Directorate General of Employment and Training under the Union ministry of labour and employment.

Programme coordinator of Jan Shikshan Sansthan Dilip Kumar said: “Initially, we have deputed one trainer, Indu Kumari, for the fabric painting course, but gradually, the number will increase.”

Earlier, the NGO had conducted a similar painting course for male prisoners besides imparting training in a number of trades like CFL bulb repairing and mushroom cultivation. “In fact, many inmates benefited immensely as they started earning after coming out of jail,” Kumar said.

Jail superintendent Hamid Akhtar said a counter would be set up at the gate for sale of products made by the prisoners and the money would be used for their welfare.