How IGNOU is Creating Employment Opportunities for Jail Inmates
The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in collaboration with Darshan Samiti and Gandhi Smriti has started a programme on “Peace Studies and Conflict Management.” This certificate programme is launched for jail inmates all over India.
The foundation programme will be available in both Hindi and English for the learners. It would be initially launched at the jails and would be made open for everyone later as the programme is relevant for all.
Creating Employment Opportunities
Getting a job with a criminal record is a tedious task. Almost every employer conducts a background check which inhibits the ability to acquire a job for ex-convicts. As many employers do not want to hire someone with a criminal record. According to a survey conducted, 70 percent of ex-prisoners felt that their criminal record had affected their job search.
The programme aims to help the jail inmates become assets to the society rather than liabilities. It will also help them join the mainstream and become a better citizen when they go out. IGNOU announced that the programme would be free of cost for the jail inmates.
Focusing on Gandhian Philosophy
Gandhian Philosophy is fundamentally based on peace and non-violence. IGNOU’s “Peace and conflict management” programme also outlines the same principles.
More than 200 Gandhian Scholars have contributed to the study material for the different courses on Gandhi for the university. The main aim of the programme is towards cohesion creation and confluence.
As, employment poses a critical problem for an ex-prisoner, vocational training programs in prisons can help them in providing the skills to find a job and earn a living wage. Multiple studies prove inmates who take vocational training are more likely to find a job and stay out of prison.
Mahatma Gandhi's granddaughter, Ms. Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee, at the launch event of the programme, suggested that the programme should be supplemented with some vocational training like "Charkha" spinning. This will not only empower them but will also give them a sense of being self-sufficient and not dependent as a symbolic way of instilling Gandhian Philosophy of peace and non-violence.