In India, prisoners working on farms, getting diplomas, learning computer skills, and degrees through open universities are not new. But what about those who become purohits (priests) after completing their jail terms?
Madhya Pradesh Jail Department has joined hands with Akhil Vishwa Gayatri Pariwar (AVGP), a spiritual organisation to train Bhopal Central Jail inmates to perform different Vedic rituals so that they can become priests and earn a decent living once they are released from jail, The New Indian Express reported.
The classes began on March 1 and will end on March 31. Fifteen theory classes have been conducted in the jail's library, and the mid-course examination results are promising. "We expected them to score 10 to 15 per cent. But the actual result has been around 60%," a representative of AVGP Ramesh Nagar said on Friday, March 18.
Practical Classes Soon
"After Holi, we will start practical classes to train them to execute the theoretical knowledge of karmakanda (rites and observances performed by Brahmins in exchange for Dakshina) in the jail's Yagyashala (the place where fire ceremony is done), " Pariwar said.
According to Bhopal Central Jail's deputy superintendent Priyadarshan Srivastava, the inmates who have attained some formal education (including school dropouts), who are to be released within six months to two years have been enrolled in the course.
"A thorough screening process has been carefully undertaken to select students for the one month course, irrespective of the cast they belong to," Srivastava said.
The course covers every ritual connected with the 16 sanskaras (sacraments or rites) of human life under Hinduism, spanning from Garbhadhana to Yagyopaveet and Vivah to Antyeyasthi.
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