Delhi: A year on, Diwali is back for Tihar inmates | Delhi News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Diwali will be a gala day for inmates of three jail complexes. Last year, the Covid-19 pandemic put paid to any celebrations among the prisoners, but this year around the 18,000 inmates of the jails at Tihar, Mandoli and Rohini can have a celebratory day. “Last year, due to Covid, we curtailed inter-ward movement of the inmates to check transmission of the disease. This year, we will allow the celebrations, but with pandemic guidelines strictly followed,” an officer revealed.
Sandeep Goel, director-general, Tihar jail, said the sale of sweets, candles and diyas made by prisoners saw an increase. “Apart from selling these products through Tihar Haat, these will also be sold internally in the three prison complexes through the jail canteens. Staff and inmates love sweets and purchase them,” Goel said. The prison has logged sales of Rs 20.3 lakh this year against Rs 12 lakh in 2020.
Elaborating on the celebrations, the officer said sweets and a celebratory meal will be served to inmates on Diwali on Thursday. “The jails will be decorated with flowers and rangoli will be made. Diyas and candles will be lit in the evening,” the officer said
According to prison officers, musical and cultural programmes are also planned, with inmates also participating. “The prisoners will sing motivational songs and similar music will be played on the jail FM radio,” one officer said.
Another officer said that due to the pandemic, the prisons had stopped the visits of NGO members who were helping the inmates in pursuing vocational courses. “A few months ago, we decided to allow them back. They are now helping the prisoners in their courses, also assisting them in making candles and wax diyas,” he said.
Not only did the coronavirus curtail Diwali celebrations last year, but it also impacted the education of the prisoners with the enrolment in different in-prison courses declining.


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